China's top legislature named 43-year-old Sun Zhengcai, who has a PhD in agriculture, as the new agriculture minister on December 29, 2006, making him the country's youngest ministerial-level official.
With a PhD in the China Agricultural University, Sun worked in the Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Science for four years.
Sun also used to be head of Shunyi district in Beijing and secretary-general of the Beijing municipal committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), during which he promoted the development of agriculture and the rural economy.
The decision was announced at the 25th session of the 10th Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC).
Former Agriculture Minister Du Qinglin assumed the post of secretary of CPC Sichuan Provincial Committee in southwest China early this month.
(Xinhua News Agency December 30, 2006)