China's top legislature has approved the cabinet nomination of Wan Gang, a non-Communist party member, as the country's new minister of science and technology.
Wan, a member of the China Zhi Gong (Public Interest) Party, replaces 65-year-old Xu Guanhua, becoming the only current non-Communist party minister in China's State Council.
The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) approved the nomination at the conclusion of its four-day bimonthly session on Friday.
Wan, a Shanghai native, is vice chairman of the Central Committee of the Zhi Gong Party, a non-Communist political party with more than 15,600 members.
Founded in 1925, the China Zhi Gong Party is mainly composed of returned overseas Chinese, relatives of overseas Chinese, and noted figures and scholars who have overseas ties.
A former automobile engineer at the Audi Corporation in Germany, Wan, born in August 1952, was president of Shanghai's Tongji University before his new appointment.
He began to work at the research and development department of the German Audi Corporation in 1991, when he graduated with honors from the Clausthal Technical University in Germany with a Ph.D degree in Mechanical Engineering.
In 1996, he was promoted to technical manager in the production and technology division, and took charge of information manufacturing technology as well as management.
Wan's leadership and contributions to many technological innovations are said to have helped the company achieve outstanding financial results.
At the end of 2000, Wan returned home at the invitation of the Ministry of Science and Technology and was appointed chief scientist and group leader of a key national electric vehicle project.
In 2002, he worked as Assistant President of Tongji and was promoted to president of the university in July 2004.
(Xinhua News Agency April 27, 2007)