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Chongqing mayor Huang Qifan leaves the Great Hall of the People after a plenary meeting of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's parliament, in Beijing, China, March 4, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Lee

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BEIJING (Reuters) - China's top legislative body on Friday appointed the former mayor of a key southwestern city as vice chairman of the congressional committee on finance and economics, the official Xinhua news agency said.

The standing committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) appointed Huang Qifan to the post about two months after he stepped down as mayor of Chongqing, amid speculation he would be promoted to a more senior position.

Sources told Reuters last year that Huang was tipped to become secretary-general of the State Council, China's cabinet.

The National People's Congress parliamentary session opens next month in the capital, Beijing.

Huang survived a scandal in 2012 that led to his boss Bo Xilai, then secretary of the Communist Party in Chongqing, being jailed for life for corruption and abuse of power.

(Reporting by Jake Spring; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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