Huang Huahua (黄华华), who has been governor of Guangdong Province since 2003, has resigned his post on Friday, local time, reports the BBC Chinese website. Deputy governor Zhu Xiaodan (朱小丹) has taken over as acting governor. No official or informal information for his reasons to resign have been given, but the BBC quotes “some analysts” as saying that “economic issues” may have played a role. A commenter from Hong Kong, [apparently] Johnny Lau (Liu Ruishao, 刘锐邵), is quoted as saying that Huang’s resignation looks different from previous resignations by top Guangdong officials, but as corruption had played a role in previous cases, it was “normal that people associated” Huang’s resignation with those cases.
The BBC also points out that Guangdong’s governor isn’t the top official, as the provincial party chief is a governor’s immediate superior, Wang Yang (汪洋).*)
Issues like industrial pollution, income disparities, unrest and clashes with police, conflicts between permanent city residents and migrant workers and land grabbing had become prominent in recent years, writes the BBC, and the current global recession also had a significant impact on Guangdong’s economy.
However, a much more natural possible motivation to resign is also discussed on the internet, writes the BBC. Netizens reportedly remember Wang saying two years ago, at a Zhongshan University alumni gathering, that given that he was 63 years old at the time, he would “retire in two years”.
Reuters also touches upon Huang’s retirement age, but adds that he still had two years to run in his mandate.
*) This power-sharing arrangement is universal all over China, and crucial in Tibet and Xinjiang, where a governor is usually picked from the national minorities, while the party leader (and ultimate ruler) is Han-Chinese.
Willy Lam: normal retirement age, Bloomberg, Nov 6