BEIJING, April 24 (Xinhua) -- Zhang Chunxian has been appointed as the Party chief of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, according to a decision of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee announced Saturday.
Former secretary of the CPC Xinjiang regional committee Wang Lequan has been appointed as deputy secretary of the Political and Legislative Affairs Committee of the CPC Central Committee.
Wang Lequan, 65, had held the post since December 1995. Wang was transferred from east China's Shandong Province to Xinjiang in 1991.
Before the appointment, Zhang served as the secretary of the CPC Hunan provincial committee starting from December 2005.
Zhang, 57 and a native of Yuzhou City in central China's Henan Province, joined the CPC in 1973.
Zhang has served in the former Ministry of Machinery, the Ministry of Supervision and the China National Packaging and Food Machinery Corporation, and as the assistant governor of southwest China's Yunnan Province.
Zhang served as the transport minister from 2002 to 2005 before he was transferred to Hunan Province.
Zhang's appointment was announced just one day after the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau held a meeting to discuss plans to boost economic development and maintain long-term social stability in Xinjiang.
The meeting, presided over by President Hu Jintao, stressed that economic and social development in Xinjiang be pushed forward in a sound and speedy manner, placing priority on guaranteeing and improving people's livelihoods so all ethnic groups in the region can live a more prosperous and happier life.
At another meeting on the development of Xinjiang from March 29-30, Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang and senior leader Zhou Yongkang called for collaboration between central ministries, designated provinces and Xinjiang autonomous regional government in building the region into a moderately well-off society in the next decade.
Premier Wen Jiabao also said in early March that the government would focus on the economic and social development in Xinjiang, Tibet and Tibetan ethnic areas in provinces of Sichuan, Yunnan, Gansu and Qinghai.
The central government is preparing for a conference on Xinjiang scheduled in the first half of this year to boost economic development and long-term stability in the region.