(Image source: The New York Times)

 

 

BY ZACH TOOMBS

 

 

China’s once-in-a-decade leadership transition took its first step Thursday, beginning the handoff of power to future President Xi Jinping. The BBC reports, although it came on the heels of America’s elections, China’s passage to a new leader looks very different.

 

“There’s no election here. Instead, 2,000 Communist Party delegates, including many from the Army, gathered for their Congress. China’s 1.3 billion people can only look on.”

 

The opening of the 18th Party Congress marked the beginning of a new political era in China. And at its center Thursday was a speech from outgoing President Hu Jintao on the dangers of corruption.

 

“It could prove fatal to the Party and even cause the collapse of the Party and the state.”

 

Hu’s remarks lasted 100 minutes, and he didn’t even read the entirety of his 64-page prepared speech.

 

The New York Times reports the outgoing president’s address is usually meant to welcome new leaders with their own ideas to change China, but this year Hu’s speech...


“...actually represented an attempt to block much of it ... He referred to Communist China’s founder three times with the phrase “Mao Zedong Thought,’ and he said that the party must “resolutely not follow Western political systems...’”

 

Of course, for all the pageantry, and the media presence provided by the 1,700 journalists who descended on Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, the real story was not so upfront — as is often the case with China. Foreign Policy magazine writes:


“...the day proved an exercise in reading between the lines. Observers closely scrutinized the seating order as they listened for clues. How many times would Hu say ‘scientific development’? Would Mao Zedong Thought fade into the background of history? (It did not.)”

 

The Party Congress is expected to last a full week.

China Begins Transition to New Leaders

by Zach Toombs
1
Transcript
Nov 8, 2012

China Begins Transition to New Leaders

(Image source: The New York Times)

 

 

BY ZACH TOOMBS

 

 

China’s once-in-a-decade leadership transition took its first step Thursday, beginning the handoff of power to future President Xi Jinping. The BBC reports, although it came on the heels of America’s elections, China’s passage to a new leader looks very different.

 

“There’s no election here. Instead, 2,000 Communist Party delegates, including many from the Army, gathered for their Congress. China’s 1.3 billion people can only look on.”

 

The opening of the 18th Party Congress marked the beginning of a new political era in China. And at its center Thursday was a speech from outgoing President Hu Jintao on the dangers of corruption.

 

“It could prove fatal to the Party and even cause the collapse of the Party and the state.”

 

Hu’s remarks lasted 100 minutes, and he didn’t even read the entirety of his 64-page prepared speech.

 

The New York Times reports the outgoing president’s address is usually meant to welcome new leaders with their own ideas to change China, but this year Hu’s speech...


“...actually represented an attempt to block much of it ... He referred to Communist China’s founder three times with the phrase “Mao Zedong Thought,’ and he said that the party must “resolutely not follow Western political systems...’”

 

Of course, for all the pageantry, and the media presence provided by the 1,700 journalists who descended on Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, the real story was not so upfront — as is often the case with China. Foreign Policy magazine writes:


“...the day proved an exercise in reading between the lines. Observers closely scrutinized the seating order as they listened for clues. How many times would Hu say ‘scientific development’? Would Mao Zedong Thought fade into the background of history? (It did not.)”

 

The Party Congress is expected to last a full week.

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