Shen Yiqin has been appointed one of the country’s five state councillors. (Photo: Weibo)

  • Shen has made the leap from a provincial Communist Party chief to the top ranks of government but has yet to break through into the all-male world of the Politburo
  • Without a more diverse group of people in its upper echelons, the quality of decision making in China will continue to suffer, observers say

Shen Yiqin, former Communist Party chief of the southern Chinese province of Guizhou, has been appointed one of the country’s five state councillors, becoming the most senior woman official in the leadership.

The appointment came five months after Beijing unveiled its first all-male Politburo in 20 years.

Experts said that while her appointment showed there was a path for women in politics in China, the glass ceiling limited thei...