BEIJING (Reuters) – China has appointed Chen Yixin as state security minister, replacing Chen Wenqing who was promoted to oversee police, legal affairs and intelligence, the National People’s Congress, or parliament, said on Sunday.
Chen Yixin, who was elected to the ruling Communist Party’s Central Committee during its once-every-five-years congress this month, had been in charge of a campaign in recent years to purge corrupt security and legal officials.
Chen Wenqing, who was elevated to the ruling Communist Party’s Politburo, has been named as party secretary of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission, China’s top security post with oversight of the police, judges and spies.
Chen Wenqing’s promotion marked the first time that a spy chief was tapped to fill the top security position, which had typically been held by a former minister of public security.
Analysts said this reflects the bigger role intelligence is likely to play in China’s security during President Xi Jinping’s third term.
Xi emphasised China’s national security in a report at this month’s congress.
(Reporting by Kevin Yao, Ziyi Tang and Yew Lun Tian; Editing by William Mallard and Edmund Klamann)