China appoints Sun Jinlong as new environment ministry party head

FILE PHOTO - Sun Jinlong, party secretary of Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region Production and Construction Corps, attends the meeting of Xinjiang delegation on the sidelines of the National People's Congress (NPC), at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China March 12, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Picture

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China has appointed Sun Jinlong as the new Communist Party Secretary of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, replacing Li Ganjie, the ministry’s website showed on Tuesday.

Sun, 58, has previously served as the vice-Party boss in the northwestern region of Xinjiang as well as the provinces of Anhui and Hunan.

He replaces Li Ganjie, who left his post as party head and environment minister last week to become the vice party secretary of Shandong province.

In China’s political system, the Communist Party secretary outranks heads of government bodies, including regional governors, mayors and ministers.

It has not yet been confirmed if Sun will also become the new environment minister, an appointment that needs to be ratified by China’s parliament.

Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Kim Coghill