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

    New EU Asylum Rules Could Boost Rightists

    New regulations will seek to correct EU failures in dealing with migrant crisis, most notably inability to get member states to absorb a total of 160,000 refugees

    More Political Turmoil Likely in Iraq as Iran Waits in the Wings

    Analysts warn that Tehran, even though it may not be engineering the Sadrist protests in Baghdad, is seeking to leverage its influence on its neighbor

    Goodbye Ketchup, Hello Sriracha!

    How immigrants are triggering a great transformation in American cuisine

    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.
    Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Rulingi
    X
    May 03, 2016 5:16 PM
    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora