China Southern Names Wang New Chief After Si Quit Amid Probe

  • Wang was a vice-minister of China's transport ministry
  • Carrier previously removed several officials under probe

China Southern Airlines Co. named a former transport vice-minister to head the state-controlled carrier ahead of the nation’s annual parliamentary meetings, after the previous chief quit in January amid a government probe.

The Communist Party’s personnel department, the State Council and the carrier’s parent approved Wang Changshun’s appointment as general manager and deputy party secretary of the airline, Guangzhou-based China Southern said in a statement on its website dated March 2. He will relinquish his role at the transport ministry, it said.

China Southern said Jan. 15 that former chairman and executive director Si Xian Min resigned, two months after coming under investigation for “serious” discipline violations, a phrase often used to refer to corruption or bribery. Chinese President Xi Jinping has intensified efforts to root out corruption since he became the Communist Party’s general secretary in late 2012, targeting government officials as well as corporate executives. 

Si was the highest ranking official under probe at the carrier, Asia’s largest by passengers. The airline first said in late 2014 that several officials had been removed from their positions because of an investigation.

China’s annual political meetings begin this week in Beijing, with the national committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference holding its meeting Thursday afternoon. The National People’s Congress meets Saturday, during which delegates will present economic targets and sign off on a new five-year plan for the nation.

— With assistance by Clement Tan

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