China

China faces to watch: Wang Yang

China is gearing up to change its top leaders, a process that begins at the end of the year. This week, the annual parliamentary session will give those in the running the chance to show off their credentials. The BBC's Michael Bristow profiles key figures.

Among the new crop of possible top leaders, Wang Yang is the one with a reputation for being more liberal than the rest.

The People's Daily - the mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party - recently praised his delicate handling of a dispute over land in Wukan, a village in Guangdong province.

It is a reputation he first gained while party chief in Chongqing, a city in western China.

He is said to have taken a more enlightened attitude towards redevelopment, which often sees farmers and poor people turned off their land to make way for factories or modern apartment blocks.

Image caption Mr Wang hails from the same province as President Hu Jintao

While in Chongqing, the 56-year-old also seems to have been more tolerant of the media, giving them a freer hand to report events.

Guangdong, where Mr Wang is currently the party head, is home to China's most open media organisations.

It is important not to overstate these liberal credentials: there was a heavy-handed use of the police in Wukan just as there is in other similar disputes across China.

And Mr Wang would hardly be in line for a possible promotion to the top echelons of the party if his thinking was too far away from current ideas.

But he does seem to be in favour of a new wave of reforms in China, both economic and political.

He might just have the support at the very top to get promoted too. He comes from Anhui province, as does China's current president, Hu Jintao.

Mr Wang also served in the party's youth league while Mr Hu was in charge of the body.