News Update :

Xi on track for China leadership at close of CPC Congress

Thursday, November 22, 2012

CHINA: China's Communist Party on Wednesday closed a pivotal congress that approved a new leadership committee, putting Vice President Xi Jinping on course to take power in a landmark transition. “I now announce that the 18th Chinese Communist Party Congress has come to a victorious conclusion,” President Hu Jintao, the party leader, told some 2,200 delegates assembled in the cavernous Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

The main business of the week-long congress, which is held every five years, had been to select a new circle of leaders at a time when China faces major economic challenges and growing scrutiny from its citizens.

The gathering is by far China's most important political event as it chooses who leads the party and nation, and this year's meeting is expected to lead to Xi's selection as the country's chief for the next decade.

Xi took a widely expected step forward by being re-named Wednesday to the 200-member Central Committee at the congress.

The development was singled out in a report by the Xinhua news agency, suggesting Xi was firmly positioned to be announced national leader on Thursday as expected.

In the same dispatch, Xinhua noted that Vice Premier Li Keqiang, who is tipped to become China's next Premier, was also appointed to the central committee.

The agency also focused on five other officials believed tipped for possible inclusion in the Politburo Standing Committee -- China's highest decision-making body and which would be headed by Xi -- suggesting they had moved forward.

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