News / Asia

China Congress Concludes, Leadership Change Begins

Leading party members including outgoing president Hu Jintao, (3rd left), stand singing of the Internationale, the international communist anthem, at the closing ceremony of the 18th Communist Party Congress held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing
Leading party members including outgoing president Hu Jintao, (3rd left), stand singing of the Internationale, the international communist anthem, at the closing ceremony of the 18th Communist Party Congress held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing
TEXT SIZE - +
William Ide
— Communist party officials have wrapped up a once in a five year congress by agreeing to amend the party's charter to tighten corruption oversight of officials. The conclusion of the meetings is but the beginning of China's once-in-a-decade political transition.
 
After several hours of waiting, crowded in the hallways and lobbies of the cavernous Great Hall of the People, reporters were ushered into the auditorium for a closing ceremony of the National People's Congress.
 
Rows of officials sat almost motionless on the stage as a report outlining the meetings' accomplishments was read. Delegates voted unanimously in support of a slate of proposed amendments to the party's constitution or charter.

  • China's new Politburo Standing Committee members (from L to R) Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan and Zhang Gaoli, arrive to meet with the press at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, November 15, 2012.
  • Chinese Communist Party delegates from the People's Liberation Army enter the Great Hall of the People, for the closing ceremony for the 18th Communist Party Congress, Beijing, November 14, 2012.
  • China's leaders raise their hands to show approval for a work report at the closing ceremony for the 18th Communist Party Congress, Beijing, November 14, 2012.
  • Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang, center, Propaganda chief Li Changchun, left, and head of Political and Legislative Affairs Committee Zhou Yongkang raise their hands during the 18th Communist Party Congress, Beijing, November 14, 2012.
  • From left, Central Commission for Discipline Inspection head He Guoqiang, Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, People's Political Consultative Conference Chairman Jia Qinglin, National People's Congress Chairman Wu Bangguo and Chinese President Hu Jintao at the Communist Party Congress, November 14, 2012.
  • A soldier dressed as an usher, front, guards the stairs to the Great Hall of the People, while a Chinese Communist Party delegate poses for photos ahead of the closing ceremony of the 18th Communist Party Congress in Beijing, China, November 14, 2012.
  • A family walks in front of a screen showing propaganda displays on a bridge in Shanghai, China, November 8, 2012.
  • Delegates chat outside of the Guangxi room before a meeting at the Great Hall of the People, the venue of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in Beijing, November 8, 2012.
  • A man walks past official propaganda to welcome the Chinese Communist Party's 18th Congress which held in Beijing, at a bookstore in Shanghai, China, November 8, 2012.
  • Chinese soldiers walk past the Great Hall of the People where the opening session of the 18th Communist Party Congress is being held in Beijing, November 8, 2012.
  • A huge screen shows a broadcast of Chinese President Hu Jintao speaking at the opening session of the 18th Communist Party Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, November 8, 2012.
  • A Chinese man watches a news broadcast of Chinese President Hu Jintao speaking at the opening session of the 18th Communist Party Congress as he eats his dinner in his home in Beijing, November 8, 2012.

One key amendment changes the charter to increase scrutiny of officials, a move that highlights the party's deep concerns about corruption. Leadership transitions in China are typically smooth and tightly choreographed.  However, this time around, the entire process and the party has been shaken by the impact of a scandal involving once-rising political star Bo Xilai.
 
The party has called on members to observe high ethical standards and to be an example. Those calls for more scrutiny resonated with congress delegate Jin Yaping.
 
"I think the government needs to increase its strength of supervision," said Jin. "How can we do it? I think we need to change it from the systemic level.  We need to start from the grassroots"
 
Delegates endorsed former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping's notion of “gaige kaifang” or “reform and opening” as the path to a stronger China. The congress noted that there was no turning back from that path of economic reform that has already guided China to achieve its rapid development in the past three decades and see it rise to become the world's second largest economy.
 
Outgoing President Hu Jintao's theory of promoting equitable and sustainable development was also added to the party charter, a move that seeks to cement his legacy. When Jiang Zemin stepped down as president in 2002, his “Three Represents” theory, an idea that paved the way for entrepreneurs to join the party, was also added to the party charter.
 
Leaving a legacy can help party leaders continue to ensure their influence is felt well after they have left office and gives them sway in determining China's future leaders.
 
But such symbolism and internal political intrigue is far removed from the concerns of most Chinese.
 
Huang Lei says that, although he supports China's leaders, his main focus is life is doing his job well and earning money.
 
“We finish work late at night everyday and do not have time to pay much attention to the congress,” he said.
 
Huang did say that he paid attention to President Hu Jintao's pledge to double incomes, by 2020.
 
Hao Qingsheng, a 55-year-old photographer agreed.
 
“I am just a common person, I only care about how living a good life, earning some money and being able to spend it, too. I do not pay attention to much else,” he said.
 
Another man, a party member who wished to remain anonymous says that he believes things will continue to get better, but adds that there is still room for improvement. He says taxes and health care are two issues he concerned about.
 
“I think that it is not important who they choose," he stated. "The important thing will be what the government does and not who one person is.”
 
On the last day of the congress, the more than 2,200 delegates voted to elect a new Central Committee for the party. One key task of the central committee, which has 200 full members, is to appoint a politburo of a few dozen members and politburo standing committee.
 
The politburo standing committee is China's inner most circle of leaders and is expected to include between seven and nine members with rising communist leader Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang at its center.
 
The members of the standing committee will be revealed for the first time Thursday. Xi Jinping is widely expected to take over for Hu Jintao has head of the party and then, later, assume his role as president in March of next year.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Samurai from: Japan
November 14, 2012 5:12 AM
What is required in China is not to double per capita income but to resolve income divide. For instance, no children in rural districts can even go to school because of their miserable poverty. Xi Jinping, who was born with a silver spoon in the mouth, can never understand ordinary people's poor lives. If China adopts Communism as its slogan, why not equally share national fortune with all Chinese nationals? Only Communist leaders are enjoying the good fortune.

In Response

by: Danny Yu from: Shanghai
November 14, 2012 9:05 PM
That's how a Japanese perceives his neighbor. Apparently japanese is down and will be further down because of that kind of stupid self-right thinking

In Response

by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
November 14, 2012 1:28 PM
@samurai from Jp, It is not your business, get away. Are you Chinese? if not, you know nothing about China just shu t up.
And tell you the slogan is "the Chinese style of socialism, and the primary phase of socialism" translate that it becomes" pure capitalism" because we believe socialism is superior than capitalism, now we are not there in socialism yet but it is the direction. Go read if you really want to know the success secret of CCP.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid