Tuesday, October 19, 2010

China : Xi Jinping Joins the Top Leadership

XI Propelled on Strengthening Power Mode

"Just because Mr. Xi hasn't introduced himself to the western world hardly means he is incapable of leading."

The 17th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) closed its fifth plenary session Monday evening. The announcement of the governmental People's Daily was made at 17:28 local time: "Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping was appointed vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) of the Communist Party of China (CPC). The Fifth Plenary Session of the 17th CPC Central Committee made the announcement on Monday that the CMC was augmented to include Xi as a vice-chairman in a communique upon the closure of the four-day meeting. Xi is also member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee."

CCP Top Leadership: Their pictures here http://bit.ly/bLna6s

Hu Jintao
Wu Bangguo
Wen Jiabao
Jia Qinglin
Li Changchun

Xi Jinping
Li Keqiang
He Guoqiang
Zhou Yongkang

The announcement of Xi's appointment came on the closing day of the ruling Communist Party's annual meeting in Beijing, according to Xinhua. Xi, 57 who had long been tipped for the promotion, becomes the second civilian member of the commission besides Hu, who is expected to step down as head of the Communist Party in 2012 and as president the following year.

Xi was promoted to the powerful nine-member standing committee of the party's political bureau in 2007 and was named China's vice-president the following year. The son of a revolutionary hero and the husband of a famous and beautiful pop singer, Xi has in the past served as the top party official in the eastern provinces of Fujian and Zhejiang, and more recently as Shanghai's top leader.

Known as one of the "Chinese princeling" due to his family lineage, at least part of Xi's political ascension is due to his late father, Xi Zhongxun, a communist guerrilla who fought alongside revolutionary leader Mao Zedong. Competition among Princeling will be interesting to monitor before the 12th Congress of 2012. Xi is not thought to be Hu's favourite, but some observers believe that former president Jiang Zemin, who still wields a lot of power even in retirement, and his allies, managed to propel Xi to top leadership. Jiang Zemin leads the party powerful "Shanghai school', as I did write on this web-page on several occasions, so it's a very political and powerful choice, predictable according to my Chinese sources. But is tomorrow's China to be ruled by politics or by strict economical governance? And who else could eventually fit both modernizers policies?

According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica: "Xi Jinping was the son of Xi Zhongxun, who once served as deputy prime minister of China but was often out of favour with his party and government, especially after he openly criticized the government’s actions during the 1989 Tiananmen Square incident. In 1969, during the Cultural Revolution, the younger Xi, like many of his fellow educated urban youth, was sent to the countryside (he went to the rural Shaanxi province), where he worked for six years as a manual laborer" End of quotes. (Opened sources)

This being written, I do not necessarily agree with this report of the LAT "Xi Jinping on track to become China's next president... the Communist Party official is named to a post that is considered a steppingstone for assuming the leadership. He has a reputation for being tough on corruption and friendly toward business, even foreign companies" as there is no detailed justification except the quote of only one Beijing outcast Chinese watcher Liu Junning.

Looks like this one (a blog on foreign policy usually spreading the Washington viewpoint) reads AG regularly:
"On a tour of Latin America in 2009, Xi seemed to catch a bit of the region's anti-yanqui fervor, telling a gathering of Chinese expats, "There are some foreigners who have eaten their fill and have nothing better to do than point their fingers at our affairs. China does not, first, export revolution; second, export poverty and hunger; or third, cause unnecessary trouble for them. What else is there to say?" Though most analysts think Xi will succeed Hu, the appointment probably won't end the speculation over his putative rival Li Keqiang, a close protégé of Hu's with deep ties to the powerful Communist Youth League. Li's faction doesn't think much of the princelings, though there doesn't appear to be any rift between Xi and Li -- at least not one that has spilled into public view. Li is widely thought to be in line to succeed Wen Jiabao as premier, the No. 2 job in China's political system."

The CPC communique statement on reform does not suggest of course that China is about to drive towards a western style democracy any time soon. It appears, first, it falls short of addressing some of the reform calls made by Prime Minister Wen Jiabao in recent speeches, seeking greater openness and accountability, and describing democracy as something we cannot oppose. (Read past posts of AG)

Popular Chinese Folk Singer Peng Liyuan

Peng Liyuan, the wife of Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping who is rumored as a presumptive next president, is to become first lady if her husband makes it to the very top after CCP 2012 Congress. Peng was born in Shandong Province, she debuted as a singer at the age of 18 and is now one of the most appreciate Chinese folk singers. Engaged in various social activities, humanitarian, health, social, the 47 year old currently serves as art director of the People's Liberation Army's song and dance troupe. Married in 1987, the couple have a daughter "who was admitted to Harvard University in September this year" according to a Korean press article. She is not anymore a folk singer.

Congratulations to the Shanghaians.
And to be continued...

Sources: Reporter's notes, private sources, Xinhua, Economist, Encyclopaedia Brit', People's daily, agencies.

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