Chinese President Hu Jintao is maneuvering to promote one of his closest allies to the Communist Party's inner sanctum, two independent sources said, in a bid to retain clout and preserve his legacy after retiring as party chief.
Hu Chunhua, party boss of the northern region of Inner Mongolia, is a rising political star of the party's next generation of senior leaders. He is seen as a reformer and a close ally of Hu Jintao, although the two are not related.
Under the constitution, the president, 69, has to stand down early next year in a once-in-a-decade leadership transition.
"Hu Jintao regards Hu Chunhua highly and is determined to promote him," a source with ties to the leadership said.