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Party names new UFW department head
Mixed reactions to Ling Jihua's appointment on eve of party's National CongressLing Jihua
- September 6, 2012
A close ally of President Hu Jintao,¬†Ling was previously director of the General Office of the Central Committee, which oversees the daily affairs of the party. His new appointment was announced on Saturday.
As head of the ¬†United Front Work Department, his¬†remit will include overseeing religious affairs. As such, his appointment may affect the case of Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin of Shanghai.
The appointment, which comes ahead of the party's National Congress next month during which China's next batch of top leaders will be announced, ¬†met with mixed reactions from Catholics. ‚ÄúThe impact of this personnel change is yet to be seen,‚ÄĚ said a priest who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Some Catholic bloggers and clergy think no matter who becomes the head, the party‚Äôs attitude will remain the same. Policies and decisions related to the Church are not decided by one faction of the party, they say.
‚ÄėOpen‚Äô Church leaders take study tour
Meeting raises questions over Beijing‚Äôs motives