China’s new leadership team unveiled

25/10 2017 15:00

The make-up of the Politburo Standing Committee, the country’s supreme political body, has been revealed. Five new faces will back up the president as he looks to advance his political agenda.

China’s new leadership lineup has been revealed. The members of the Politburo Standing Committee are, in order of seniority, President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Wang Huning, Zhao Leji and Han Zheng.

The unveiling of the new lineup marks the climax of the twice-a-decade leadership reshuffle after months-long intense horse trading and power struggles in the lead-up to the 19th party congress.

Li Zhanshu, 67, Xi’s chief of staff, looks set to take over the head of China’s National People’s Congress while vice-premier Wang Yang, 62, is expected to become chairman of the top political advisory body, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.

Wang Huning, 62, the top party theorist and director of the Central Policy Research Office, will be in charge of ideology, propaganda and party organisation.

Zhao Leji, 60, head of the organisation department and the party’s personnel chief, will replace Wang Qishan to become the new anti-graft tsar, while Han Zheng, 63, the Shanghai party chief, will become the executive vice-premier.

The leadership of the powerful Central Military Commission, the body that oversees the military, was also unveiled on Wednesday. General Zhang Youxia, a former director of the commission’s equipment development department and a trusted ally of Xi, was named as the new second vice-chairman.

The current second vice-chairman Xu Qiliang was elevated to replace Fan Changlong as the first chairman. The 70-year-old Fan will retire.

General Li Zuocheng, 64, a veteran of the 1979 war with Vietnam, will join the commission.

The list of new faces underscores Xi’s desire for continuity and consensus-building, but it also prepares the ground for greater changes in the future.

Ahead of the official announcement, the Post exclusively revealed the likely line-up of the committee.

Xi introduced the other six standing committee members at a press conference, which was broadcast live on state television.

It was his first televised address after being confirmed as China’s most powerful leader in decades when his name was added to the party constitution – a move that put him on a par with late paramount leaders Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping.

Xi recapped his mantra of turning China into a great Socialist power by 2050 and highlighted his aspiration of steering China through the challenges of a world full of uncertainties.

Xi declared yet again that China’s Socialist development had entered a new era, which will make the country under his leadership an upholder of world peace and stability.

He also tried to dismiss mounting concerns and scepticism about China’s rise, proclaiming that the country was ready to play a greater role in the building of “a common destiny for mankind ”.

Xi also pledged China would continue with its peaceful and independent foreign policy, uphold international justice and refrain from interfering into other countries’ domestic affairs.