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
    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

    Candidates' Comments Fly Like New Hampshire Snowflakes

    Four days ahead of the country's first-in-the-nation Republican and Democratic party primary elections, surveys show the parties' contests tightening

    Australian Commander: IS Changing Tactics

    Head of Australian forces in Middle East talks with VOA about training Iraqi troops, countering evolving Islamic State efforts and defeating extremism

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    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.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.