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Summary： Liang Wen'gen, the co-founder and Chairman of Sany Heavy Industry and "China's Richest Person" according to last year's Hurun and Forbes rankings, has been put forward as a potential candidate to the 18th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party.|
Apr 18, 2012
By Pang Lei
According to an announcemnent made by the Organization Department of the Communist Party in Hunan Province on Sunday, Liang Wen'gen (梁稳根), was named as one of 24 "production and frontline worker members" (生产和工作一线党员) whose names have been put forward as potential candidates for membership of the 18th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party.
Mr. Liang, the co-founder and Chairman of Sany Heavy Industry and "China's Richest Person" according to last year's Hurun and Forbes rankings, is also a delegate to the 17th National Congress which was elected in 2007.
Last October, the EO reported that Liang Wen'gen (梁稳根) was said to have been vetted by the CPC's organization department and was being considered as a candidate to join the Chinese Communist Party's Central Committee (CPC) as an alternate member.
The Central Committee is the highest authority within the Communist Party of China and its approximately 350 members and alternates are selected once every five years by the party's National Congress.
Mr. Liang, who once worked as an official, made his fortune by establishing a company that makes the cranes and heavy equipment used on the millions of construction sites around the country. The private businessman is estimated to have amassed a personal fortune of around 70 billion yuan.
That a businessman could assume a senior CPC position is not entirely unprecedented. But, if he does make it onto the powerful committee of two hundred or so people, he will become the first private entrepreneur to take up such a role.
All of the other business people who have risen to senior positions in the party have come from the state-run sector, with Zhang Ruiming (张瑞敏), the CEO of Haier Group, the largest Chinese household electric appliances group, probably the closest thing to a private entrepreneur to have become a member of the National Congress.
If Mr. Liang is to be elected as a member of the 18th CPC Central Committee as expected, many will view it as a sign that the party is opening up to private business people.
Wang Yukai, the Secretary-General of China Administration System Reform Research Committee, believes that if Liang is appointed, it can be seen as a signal of opening-up and a step towards the democratization of the inner-workings of the communist party.
As part of reforms aimed at strengthening "internal party democracy," public notices naming the provisional candidates for the National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party are being published for the first time this year. (Economic Observer)