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From Staff Reports
China's finance minister resigned Thursday, the day after President Hu Jintao criticized finance officials over a lack of integrity, the Reuters news agency reported last week. The precise motivation for Jin's replacement remains unknown, but several Chinese sources have suggested that a sex scandal was his undoing.Â
According to published reports, the resignation is the direct result of seven day bi-monthly meeting held by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. Chen Liangyu, a top Shanghai official was also expelled from the national legislature along with three other deputies. Five new ministers were appointed to fill corresponding roles in finance, supervision, personnel and state security, as well as the minister in charge of the State Commission of Science, Technology, and Industry for National Defense, the reports state.
The change comes just weeks before a major party meeting that will define the country's policies for the next five years. It's unlikely that Jin's successor will make any changes however. The role of the Finance Ministry in China's rigidly structured economy is far weaker than that of its international counterparts. It's growing more important as China's economy becomes increasingly more market-driven. Even so, Jin's position does not equate to the secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department.