China's New Leadership: Unveiled
Image Credit: Wikicommons

China's New Leadership: Unveiled

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After months of tenuous purges, endless political jockeying, and (often erroneous) Western media speculation, the seven men who will lead China for the next five years (and in some cases, the next decade) formally introduced themselves to world on Thursday just before noon local time. Their presence on the stage of the Great Hall of the People formally brought to a close an important era in China’s history: the Deng Xiaoping era. Since being brought back from his second exile in 1978, two years after Mao’s death and the arrest of the Gang of Four, Deng (and the Eight Immortals) has towered over China, first during Deng’s own rule that saw sweeping changes that lifted millions of Chinese citizens out of poverty and modernized the country, and later through Deng’s hand-chosen successors, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao.

Not unlike Deng’s return to power, China’s new leaders, largely ‘princelings’ whose formative experience was the Cultural Revolution– in which many of them first participated in and soon became victims of—take the reins of power at a time when China is facing enormous challenges. Compared with their nine predecessors, the seven men who now serve atop the CCP’s Politburo Standing Committee (PSC) are older, less-scientific, more conservative, and heavily weighted towards the Shanghai faction in China’s elite politics that is often associated with former President Jiang Zemin, who boldly reasserted himself into Communist Party decision-making in the months preceding the unveiling of the PSC members. Additionally, the PSC’s first-among-equals, Xi Jinping, appears to be far more charismatic than the man he replaces, a much welcome change for China followers both inside and outside the country.

The new leadership faces a host of pressing challenges, including: an increasingly politically conscious and activist public, armed with far more information than their parents thanks to new social media platforms; a slowing economy suffering from growing debt, weak global demand, official corruption, low domestic consumption, rising labor costs, and over centralization that is largely the result of too-big-to-fail but too-politically-powerful to easily break-up State-Owned Enterprises (SEO); and increasingly strained relationships with China’s neighbors and the United States.

Without further ado, here are the seven men charged with tackling these challenges and many others, introduced according to their rank in the Party hierarchy:

Comments
16
March 24, 2013 at 23:23

[...] about China’s possible political futures is an intellectual activity that intrigues some and puzzles many.  The conventional wisdom is that [...]

[...] taking over as the new leader of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in November, Xi Jinping has created a heated discussion in [...]

[...] about China’s possible political futures is an intellectual activity that intrigues some and puzzles many.  The conventional wisdom is that [...]

[...] about China’s possible political futures is an intellectual activity that intrigues some and puzzles many.  The conventional wisdom is [...]

[...] existing sanctions on the “Hermit Kingdom.” The vote is an important sign that the new People Republic of China(PRC) leadership is willing to use sticks to prod Pyongyang towards compliance with international non-proliferation [...]

ch
December 12, 2012 at 17:07

China still has lots of problems, but it is getting better and better. All we Chinese have to do is to wait a bit longer. 

[...] Đại lễ đường nhân dân.Photo Credit: WikicommonsThe Diplomat. 16/11/2012. Theo The Diplomat [...]

Noel Worthy
November 19, 2012 at 17:55

John Chan, sir, I'm talking about and I'm sure you know who I'm talking about when I mention the Falun Gong and other prisoners of conscience who have been and still are Murdered for their organs. You must know about the PLAC'S 610 arm. Yes there are crime syndicates that are involved too(Arthur Borges in reply to you)but, I'm talking about a STATE here, a government that that is in the seat of power, not some criminal gang, but countries government that's doing the killing……a BIG difference to criminals, although some see the CCP as nothing but criminals!
In regard to the USA's prison population, yeah no problem with that stat, but do we really no how many are in China's jails? How many Black Jails are there? How many people detained in their own homes, if we did then that figure may be pass the USA.What about those detained in Psychiatric Hospitals as a means of imprisonment?  Of course we will never know because Beijing denies such practices, however there are just too many of the normal Chinese citizens who have spoken out about their time in these "Black holes" to deny their existence. I wonder how many petitioners were detained during the recent 18th event?
So anyway, to my point, When Will The CCP Stop The Murder For Organs?

Arthur Borges
November 18, 2012 at 18:11

You have strange ideas about China, Noel. Mainland Chinese crime rates are low and most police officers are unarmed except for a cellphone with an app for the crime information database.
Organ harvesting from convicts sentenced to death? Yep it happened. They just changed the law to stop that though. What happens to organs of the executed in the West, though? France has no death penalty, but the law assumes you're an organ donor unless you make a proactive declaration that you don't want to donate but most Frenchmen don't know that donation is the default option and would grumble if they did. I guess it's the same in most EU countries. To be fair there is a worldwide shortage of organs and entire crime syndicates involved in  kidnapping and murder for purposes of organ trafficking. China is prosecuting one sharp organ dealer who got a 12-year-old kid to surrender a kidney in exchange for iPad. The was really proud of himself when he got home but his parents went through the roof when they found out how he paid for it. Anyhow, the cops looked up the dealer and dragged him away.

John Chan
November 18, 2012 at 11:26

@Noel Worthy,
Can you name one nation in the world there is no crime including murder and illegal medical activity? Mind you the USA has the largest prison population in the world; sun reflection from the razor barbed wired prison camps dotted along the USA trans-state highway is quite a sight.
 
China is a democracy with Chinese characteristic not a utopia, but there are laws prohibit forced organ transplants and activities cause bodily harm, anybody carrying out forced organ transplant and murder is breaking laws, committing crimes and is punishable by laws; mind you the punishment in China is quite severe.
 
Asking Chinese leaders to stop crimes themselves is like asking Obama to stop murder and illegal organ transplant himself, it is just plain silly. You should urge the new Chinese leaders to pay more attention to those crimes instead.

Noel Worthy
November 17, 2012 at 23:38

Will they stop the Murder and and Live Forced Organ transplants?

Arthur Borges
November 17, 2012 at 21:28

It's always fun to read rhetoric about "endless politically jockeying" (it's over now, right?), tenuous purges (Gen. P wasn't purged, right?) or getting "brought back from exile" (like Nixon maybe?). Then there's Deng "towering" around (unknown inside the Beltway, right?)
But to throw in a few details, many of the seven have family living abroad, anywhere from Malaysia to the USA and I'd be surprised if even one of them does not have a son or daughter with at least a bachelor's degree from somewhere in Europe or North America. Under Mao, Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping were essentially the only two who had really lived broad — Deng was even an internationally ranked bridge player, a pastime he continued in retirement. As for Zhou, he was entirely at ease in any company.
What is interesting about this set of leaders who govern collegially (!), is that there is a preponderance of social scientists and with good reason: What brings down the dynasties in Chinese history is grassroots revolt. It is very well to classify leaders as belonging to the Hu or Jiang social networks but, in either case, no unsubverted member of the leadership will lose sight of this fundamental historical fact.
If the IMF keeps going around telling most of its victims to cut social spending, it has been amusingly telling China to spend more on this line item, so OECD members should be happy that grassroots consumers can be predicted to need to save less but alas, history is what it is here and history has written into the local DNA that she is a laundry list of natural and manmade catastrophes, so keep saving up.
Expect no changes in Chinese policy about her territorial claims however. I understand Washington backtracked seriously over the Diaoyu/Senkaku thingie when Chinese buyers failed to turn up at the Fed auction of US Treasurys and the response was to send a high-level US team to Beijing to discuss it but, um, they never got to see the folks they had hoped to influence.
 
 

John Chan
November 17, 2012 at 05:46

The Chinese names of the 7 members of CCP’s Politburo Standing Committee are
习近平, 李克强, 张德江, 俞正声, 刘云山, 王岐山, 张高丽.

venze
November 16, 2012 at 12:37

 
We doubt the new leaders would implement whatever reforms that soon. Apparently, they want to maintain the status quo, at least for the first couple of years to consolidate their learning curves.
None of the 7 (reduced from 9) powerful members of the Standing Committee has been sufficiently exposed to the international arena, and practically none had been educated or given work experience overseas. They need to equip themselves adequately to deal with foreign affairs first.  (btt1943, vzc1943)

November 16, 2012 at 11:52

What’s here to read!

Charles Hale
November 16, 2012 at 08:28

It would be very helpful if you were to publish the leaders' names in Hanzi as well as in pinyin.
Thanks and best wishes,
C. Hale

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