Beijing (AsiaNews) - As planned and with the precision
of a Swiss clock, Xinhua announced
today that Vice President Xi Jinping and
Deputy Prime Minister Li Keqiang were elected to the Central Committee of the
Communist Party of China (CPC), setting the stage for their appointment as
president and party general secretary in Xi's case and prime minister in Li's
Both had already been put forward for such posts three
years ago, evidence that the CPC's internal democracy is quite hierarchical.,
this despite statements by outgoing President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen
Jiabao in favour of greater democracy in both party and the country.
In the end, elections Chinese-style are very much
top-down. The 2,270 party delegates were indeed called to choose 200 full
members and 170 or so alternate members (with no voting rights). But a delegate
from Gansu revealed that only 205 names were up for election in the first
group, making it the outcome a foregone conclusion.
Yet, in his closing statement, President Hu Jintao
said the congress had "replaced older leaders with younger ones" and
made decisions of "far-reaching historical significance."
According to Xinhua,
the only news organisation allowed to report on the closed-door meeting, Vice-Premier
Wang Qishan was elected to the new Central Committee and to the new Central
Commission for Discipline Inspection, which he is expected to chair.
Other new central committee members include propaganda
chief Liu Yunshan; Liu Yandong, perhaps the first woman in the politburo; party
organisation chief Li Yuanchao; Guangdong party boss Wang Yang, considered a
reformer, Tianjin party boss Zhang Gaoli, North Korea-educated Vice-Premier
Zhang Dejiang; and Shanghai party chief Yu Zhengsheng.
The new central committee is set to meet tomorrow to
elect the 24-member politburo and its standing committee. It is unclear whether
the latter will retain all nine seats or drop to seven.
results on Twitter and Sina Weibo, a Chinese language micro-blogging
site, Xinhua played up the party's "internal
democracy," but failed to say that Twitter
is blocked in China.
when interrogated, non-Chinese search engines come up with nothing when asked
about the candidates.
nature of democracy, Chinese-style, is even more obvious when candidates are
interviewed in front of foreign cameras and journalists, trying to explain how
moved they were listening to Hu
Jintao's address, in which he warns the party against the dangers of
not least, Hu's notion of "scientific development" was incorporated into the
constitution, along with Mao's thoughts, Deng Xiaoping's "modernisation," and Jiang
Zemin's "Three Represents."