By Melinda Liu and Jonathan Ansfield
Oct. 15, 2007 issue – Colleagues at the fast-track Communist Youth League have seen a change in their recently appointed boss. “In the past, Hu Chunhua was known within the Youth League for being polite,” says a powerfully connected Beijing scholar. “But now he seems to be acting much tougher.”
Earlier this year Hu, 44, unceremoniously dismissed one of his subordinates, Lu Shizhen, from her post as party chief at the China Youth College for Political Sciences in Beijing. Even though Lu, at 60, had technically hit retirement age, she was hoping to stay on the job a little longer, according to the scholar, who requested anonymity because he isn’t cleared to speak to the media. But Hu didn’t even warn her in advance that she was being replaced. “Old Lu’s time is up,” he said at a meeting soon afterward. People in the room were shocked at such open disrespect for a cadre 16 years his senior.
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