Meet China's New Leadership

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Chinese Community Party ushered in its new leadership on Wednesday following the party's 18th National Congress. Power quickly changed hands, as China’s new president, Xi Jinping, has taken over for Hu Jiantao.

Xi Jinping made his first public address on Thursday and extolled the Communist Party's historical leadership. "[The party] has rallied and led the people by stepping into the breach and making tenacious efforts to turn the poor and the backward old China into a new China, ever closer to the goal of national prosperity and strength," Jinping said. "The great renewal of the Chinese nation has thus embraced a bright prospect never seen before."

Elizabeth Economy, senior fellow and director for Asia Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, discusses China's new leadership.

"I think in many respects this was a fairly disappointing group that emerged out of what had been quite intense political jockeying leading up to the party Congress," Economy says. "The boldfaced reformers that were in contention, like Li Yuanchao and Wang Yang, in the end, didn't make it into this group of leaders."   

In five years, the oldest members of the polit-bureau will be forced to retire. This is mixed news — one of the most conservative member will have to retire, but perhaps the most knowledgeable and forward thinking member will have to leave as well.

"There is enormous social discontent in China," Economy says. "There's just enormous bottom-up pressure coming at the Chinese Communist Party, and I think they have very little idea about how to deal with it." 

"There were some humorous — well, not really humorous — but some editorials in the Chinese newspapers after the U.S. election talking about how long people had to wait in some states to vote," she says. "People were saying, yes, how long do the Chinese have to wait? 5,000 years to vote?" 


Elizabeth Economy

Produced by:

Jillian Weinberger

Comments [4]

Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

I'm not surprised that the Chinese Government have started to spin wheels...It is our opportunity to regain some leadership in the World.

Nov. 16 2012 12:54 PM

Rather disturbing yet revealing and totally unsurprising to hear jaunty theme music greeting the rise of a new rogues gallery in China which is the oppressive Communist oligarchy. Talk about one percent.
This comes after our primary and election candidates were treated with a gauntlet of mendacious ridicule.

Thanks to the efforts of the administration and the media China will likely overtake the United States as an economic superpower in the 21st Century as we hit 20 trillion in debt and the President is free to be "flexible" with Russia after the annoyance of the US election.

"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid....When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty--to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure and without the base alloy of hypocrisy".

Lincoln - 1855

Nov. 16 2012 09:59 AM

You're right, Richard! Thanks for the call-out.

Nov. 16 2012 09:59 AM
Richard from Miami

Good morning John,

Just an FYI,.......Lee Marvin was not in the "Magnificent Seven". I believe you're referring to Yul Brenner.

Have a nice time in Miami!!

Nov. 16 2012 09:18 AM

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