Thursday, 15 November 2012

China's New Leaders

The group of seven post for photographers after the Politburo announcement
The final lineup of the Politburo members of the Central Committee finally revealed themselves after over 20 minutes' delay late this morning.

In order, they are: Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan and Zhang Gaoli.

Note that Liu Yandong was not on the list, and it would have been a positive vote for women if she had made it to the Politburo.

The long-held rumour there would be seven members instead of nine materialized, though not everyone was able to pick out exactly who would be on the list except for Xi and Li.

China watchers were wondering what portfolio Wang would get because he is so knowledgeable in economic matters he could have been vice premier under Li.

However, there was thought that due to his extensive experience he might even overshadow Li, and so this is probably why he was given the position of Secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) or the anti-graft commission.

It'll be interesting to see him in this role, as he is used to being a negotiator who has led finance and trade talks, and also has experience as chief executive of China Construction Bank, which none of the others have in leading a state-owned enterprise.

Also during SARS in 2003, Wang replaced the sacked mayor in Beijing who had earlier on denied there was SARS in the capital, and shuffled patients around in ambulances.

But one interesting tidbit people are murmuring is that Wang possibly got this post because he has no children... thus possibly eliminating the chance of his reputation being sullied as we've seen with Ling Jihua and Bo Xilai...

Many of the people on this list are conservatives and so people can surmise what kind of rule Xi's administration will be like. There was hope Wang Yang, the party chief of Guangdong would make it and shake things up a bit with his more liberal style of governance, but apparently he was considered too young for the post.

After the seven marched out and posed for photographers, Xi gave a speech that was probably vetted by many.

Here is a part of it:

We have taken on this important responsibility for our nation. Ours is a great nation. Throughout five thousand years and more of evolution as a civilization, the Chinese nation has made indelible contribution to the progress of human civilization.

In modern times, however, China endured untold hardships and sufferings, and its very survival hung in the balance. Countless Chinese patriots rose up one after another and fought for the renewal of the Chinese nation, but all ended in failure.

Since its founding, the Communist Party of China has made great sacrifices and forged ahead against all odds. It has rallied and led the Chinese people in transforming the poor and backward old China into an increasingly prosperous and powerful new China, thus opening a completely new horizon for the great renewal of the Chinese nation.

Our responsibility now is to rally and lead the entire Party and the people of all ethnic groups in China in taking over the relay baton passed on to us by history, and in making continued efforts to achieve the great renewal of the Chinese nation, make the Chinese nation stand rock-firm in the family of nations, and make even greater contribution to mankind.

We have taken on this important responsibility for the people. Our people are a great people. During the long course of history, the Chinese people have, working with diligence, bravery and wisdom, created a beautiful homeland where all ethnic groups live in harmony, and developed a great and dynamic culture.

Our people have an ardent love for life. They wish to have better education, more stable jobs, more income, greater social security, better medical and health care, improved housing conditions, and a better environment.

They want their children to have sound growth, have good jobs and lead a more enjoyable life. To meet their desire for a happy life is our mission. It is only hard work that creates all happiness in the world.

To fulfill our responsibility, we will rally and lead the whole Party and the people of all ethnic groups in China in making continued efforts to free up our minds, carry out reform and opening up, further release and develop the productive forces, work hard to resolve the difficulties the people face in both work and life, and unwaveringly pursue common prosperity.

We have taken on this important responsibility for the Party. Our Party is dedicated to serving the people. It has led the people in making world-renowned achievements, and we have every reason to take pride in these achievements.

But we are not complacent, and we will never rest on our laurels. Under the new conditions, our Party faces many severe challenges, and there are also many pressing problems within the Party that need to be resolved, particularly corruption, being divorced from the people, going through formalities and bureaucratism caused by some Party officials.

We must make every effort to solve these problems. The whole Party must stay on full alert.

To address these problems, we must first of all conduct ourselves honorably. Our responsibility is to work with all the comrades in the Party to uphold the principle that the Party should supervise its own conduct and run itself with strict discipline, effectively solve major problems in the Party, improve our conduct, and maintain close ties with the people.

By doing so, we will ensure that our Party will remain at the core of leadership in advancing the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

It is the people who have created history, and it is the people who are true heroes. The people are the source of our strength.

We are well aware that the capability of one individual is limited. But when we are united as one, we will create an awesome power and we can certainly overcome all difficulties.

One can only work for a limited period of time, but there is no limit to serving the people with dedication. Our responsibility is weightier than Mount Tai, and our road ahead is a long one.

We must always be of the same mind with the people and share the same destiny with them, and we must work together with them and diligently for the public good so as to live up to the expectations of both history and the people.
Xi's wife, the glamorous folk singer Peng Liyuan

OK so things are pretty much going to be status quo with China. So the next burning question is -- kind of role Xi's famous folk singer wife Peng Liyuan will play as the First Lady. Will she become the Chinese version of Michelle Obama?

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