Xi set to reveal China’s new senior leadership as congress ends | News

China and the world will find out who will run the country alongside President and General Secretary Xi Jinping when the Communist Party wraps up its twice-decade congress this weekend.

The country’s senior political leadership will be revealed on Sunday when Mr. Xi, who is expected to be confirmed as president for an unprecedented third term, takes to the stage in the Great Hall of the People. , followed by members of the elite Politburo Standing Committee (PSC). , the party’s top decision-making body, in descending order of importance.

The 69-year-old leader has emerged as China is the most powerful since Mao Zedong and his hold on power does not appear to be waning despite China’s slowing economy, public anger over pandemic containment measures and growing divisions with Western countries over the pandemic. allegations of human rights violations in places like Xinjiang and Hong Kong, and Beijing refuses to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The lineup – who joins, who doesn’t and who will replace Premier Li Keqiang when he retires in March after completing up to two terms in office – will show Mr. away from the post-Mao tradition. of the leadership team.

Ben Hillman, director of the Australia Center for China in the World at the Australian National University, told Reuters: “The new PSC lineup will tell us whether Xi is only interested in personal loyalty or not. He values ​​diversity of opinion.” the firm.

“It is possible that the new PSC will consist entirely of Xi loyalists, which shows Xi’s consolidation of power, but poses great risks for China. A group of men ‘yes’ at the top will limit the information available for decision making. “

Delegates to the 20th Party Congress wear masks while sitting in the Great Hall of the People
Delegates at the Congress selected 400 people to join the Central Committee. The Central Committee then appointed the Politburo and PSC [Mark Schiefelbein/AP Photo]

Great Reform

Some 2,300 delegates attended the party congress begins in the Chinese capital on October 16.

Most of the discussions have taken place behind closed doors, but during the week, delegates will appoint about 400 members to the party’s top national body, the Central Committee, with the South China newspaper. Hong Kong’s Morning Post (SCMP) this week reported that nearly half of the current members will be replaced.

The 25 members of the Politburo, 7 of whom will then be named to the PSC, will then be appointed by the 200 members of the Central Committee who voted.

Those options may have been discussed among the party’s elite over the past few months, and at least two of the seven current members of the committee are expected to retire because of age. The “seven up, eight down” convention stipulates that any official aged 67 or younger at the time of the party congress can be promoted, while anyone aged 68 or older is expected to be promoted. will retire.

However, reports in the Wall Street Journal and SCMP this week suggest there could be as many as four openings on the committee.

Greater revenue would be a boon for Mr. Xi,” Nis Grunberg, of the Mercator Institute for China Studies (Merics) in Berlin, told AFP news agency, explaining that would enable the Chinese leader.” motivated more of his supporters from the Politburo. to the Standing Committee”.

One new set of regulations sets out criteria for promotion and dismissal, published in September, suggesting loyalty will be a key requirement – some of the 15 criteria focus on loyalty to the leadership of the company. party.

Usually, the role of prime minister, who handles the economy, goes to the individual who holds the number two or three position in the party.

Image showing the Chinese Communist Party structure like a pyramid with the general secretary at the top and the PSC below

This time, Shanghai party boss Li Qiang, 63, who has a long relationship with Mr. Xi but is target of city dwellers’ anger over Shanghai’s prolonged shutdownis considered a leading candidate for the position, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources close to party leaders.

Another loyalist seen by party watchers as a candidate for promotion is Ding Xuexiang, 60, who is Xi’s secretary and head of the Central Committee’s Office of Power, which governs Manage the administrative work of top management.

SCMP reported that Guangdong party chief Li Xi, as well as Chongqing party secretary Chen Min’er, another favorite of Mr. Xi, could also be promoted.

Hu Chunhua, 59, the current Vice Premier, is considered qualified by traditional standards for the role of prime minister, but the SCMP said his lack of ties to Mr. Xi is likely to work against him. .

Neil Thomas, senior China analyst at Eurasia Group, told AFP: “Xi’s astonishing consolidation of power means that elite promotion is not a balancing act between rival factions and more than a contest for allegiance within Xi’s dominant faction.”

Despite the scale of the proposed reshuffle, little emerges about Xi’s successor.

Most analysts expect Xi to stay in office for a fourth term, which means many of those expected to take up senior roles this year will be too old to take the top job once Mr. Xi quits.


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