10/25/2017, 09.29
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A new Politburo without a clear successor to Xi Jinping

by Wang Zhicheng

Members of the new Politburo Standing Committee presented today: in addition to Xi and Li Keqiang, they include Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Wang Huning, Zhao Leji, Han Zheng. Many are close allies of Xi; others part of Jiang Zemin's "Shanghai clique" and to Hu Jintao’s Communist Youth League. No Sixth Generation Member.

Beijing (AsiaNews) - The new Politburo Standing Committee, China's highest power, was announced today to Chinese media at the Party Congress. Accompanied by Xi Jinping, 64, in an ordered row were: Li Keqiang, 62, confirmed in his role as premier; Wang Yang, also a 62-year-old former party secretary in Guangdong, will lead the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference; ; Han Zheng, 63, party secretary in Shanghai, wil be appointed vice-premier; Zhao Leji, 60, who will head the Anti-Corruption Commission; Li Zhangshu, 67, who will be appointed chief of the People's National Assembly; Wang Huning, 62, director of the Central Political Research Bureau, who will head the party's propaganda and organization. All of them take will be mandated for the next five years.

Ahead of  the Congress many wondered if Xi would fill the Politburo with close confidants. His choices however, reveal his criteria was the division of power between the various groups present in the CCP, in particular the "Shanghai clique" and the Communist Youth League linked to Hu Jintao. Xi’s allies remain Li Zhanshu, who has so far served as Director of the General Affairs Office of the CCP; Wang Huning, a trusted theorist and Zhao Leji.

Han Zheng refer back to the Shanghai clique, headed by Jiang Zemin. The Communist Youth League, can count on  the loyalty (as well as Li Keqiang), of Wang Yang, so far vice-premier.

Breaking down a tradition that lasted from the days of Deng Xiaoping, there is no 50-year-old from the Sixth Generation among nominations to the new Politburo, who might have appeared as a possible successor to Xi at the end of his mandate in 2022. Some analysts think this is a way for Xi to prepare to lead the party even after his second term.

Hu Chunhua, current Party leader in Guangdong, and Chen Miner, party leader in Chongqing, who media have often named as Xi's possible  successors, both close to the president, to date have not been made part of the Politburo.


New appointments have also been made to the Central Military Commission today: Xu Qiliang becomes the first vice-president; Gen. Zhang Youxia, great ally of Xi, becomes the second vice-president; Gen. Li Zhoucheng has joined the Commission.

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