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Mao Zedong's grandson promoted as major general

world Updated: Aug 02, 2010 16:09 IST

IANS
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Mao Xinyu, the grandson of revolutionary communist leader Mao Zedong, has been promoted as major general in the Chinese army.

Mao Xinyu, 40, has become one of the youngest officers presently holding the rank in the People's Liberation Army. However, he is not the youngest officer to be made major general.

Wang Tao, a former Olympic champion in table tennis, was promoted to major general in 2002 at 35. Yang Liwei, the first Chinese astronaut who travelled into space, was promoted as major general in 2008, when he was 43.

Mao, a researcher at the Academy of Military Sciences (AMS), was among other military officers who were promoted to higher ranks shortly before the 83rd anniversary of the founding of the army, Global Times reported

Bao Guojun, a spokesman at the AMS, confirmed on Sunday that Mao was promoted from the rank of senior colonel to major general.

The promotion was done before Sunday's Army Day but the specific date was not provided.

"This is a natural elevation. Mao's many achievements earned him the right to be promoted," he said.

In his personal blog May 14, Mao talked about his visit to North Korea, where he visited the tombs of Chinese volunteer army soldiers. In his latest entry June 26, he wrote about his uncle, Mao Anying, who died in North Korea during the Korean War.

According to an official website in Yuanba district of Sichuan Province, Mao went there for an investigation trip in Guangyuan on Thursday.

Several photos released online showed Mao in a major general's uniform.

Xu Hui, a professor at the National Defence University, told the Global Times that more and more younger military officials would move ahead faster.

"Among the group of senior military officials, we will see more and more young people," he said.

In July, President Hu Jintao, who is also chairman of the Central Military Commission, announced that 11 other senior officers, including three in their 50s, were promoted as full general, the highest rank in the PLA.