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Hu Ally Sidelined as China’s Leaders Jockey Before Handover

China’s Communist Party replaced Ling Jihua, an ally of Hu Jintao, as head of the office that oversees security for the country’s top leaders, signaling the outgoing president may have fewer proteges on the ruling Politburo after a leadership transition later this year.

Ling was replaced by former Guizhou Party Secretary Li Zhanshu as head of the party’s general office, the official Xinhua News Agency said Sept. 1. Ling takes over the United Front Work Department, which handles relations with non-party organizations and figures including the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader.