Monday, June 05, 2006
China Vice Premier Returns To Public View -Xinhua
(Updates with background and market reaction.)
BEIJING (Dow Jones)--China's sixth-ranking Communist Party official who oversees the country's financial sector made his first public appearance Monday since being absent from key official events since January.
Vice Premier Huang Ju, 68, attended a scientific conference in Beijing along with the eight other members of the Communist Party Standing Committee, the party's highest ranking body, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
In March, a government spokesman confirmed that Huang had been "unwell and underwent treatment in a hospital" following media reports that he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Huang was absent from the annual meeting of China's congress in March, where the body approved a blueprint for China's economy over the next five years.
During his tenure overseeing the financial sector and state enterprises, China has opened its door wider to foreign investment and pushed market-oriented reforms. China's state banks have sold over $30 billion worth of shares to foreign investors and its domestic stock market has undergone reforms to float nontradable shares.
A Shanghai-based trader said he expects Huang's return to public duties will have little effect on domestic stocks. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index ended up 0.91% Monday at 1684.62.
Huang last appeared in public at a meeting of the China Banking Regulatory Commission Jan. 16, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.
Huang, a longtime ally of former Chinese President Jiang Zemin, was elevated to the Communist Party's top body in 2002 after serving as Shanghai Party Secretary from 1994-2002.
-By Rick Carew, Dow Jones Newswires; 8610 6588-5848; firstname.lastname@example.org
-Edited by Andrew Bullard