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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid