On Thursday, November 15, at the first plenary session of the 18th Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, Vice President of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Xi Jinping was formally elected both chairman of the CPC Military Commission and general secretary of the Communist Party of China. Xi succeeded Hu Jintao, who remains the president of the PRC.
The newly “elected” 376 members of the Communist Party Central Committee also elected five new (pre-selected) members to the Standing Committee of the Politburo. The Politburo consists of seven (formerly nine) Communist Party members.
The election of Xi as general secretary and the five new members of the Politburo came as no surprise to the party delegates, who had carefully choreographed the 18th Party Congress long in advance. The Congress was attended by many Chinese Communist dignitaries including Maj. General Mao Xinyu, the only living grandson of Mao Tse-tung. The votes were merely for show, consistent with the party’s strongly held commitment to tradition and formality.
The “new” Chinese party leadership was selected from a cadre of its traditionalist rank and file, all of whom subscribe strictly to Marxist dialectical principles. According to The Epoch Times, the five new Politburo members include:
• Zhang Dejiang, 66, a party elitist and Hu Jintao loyalist replacing Bo Xilai.
• Yu Zhengsheng, 68, a well-connected party functionary and opportunist who after fully supporting Bo Xilai turned his back on him amidst a scandal earlier this year in which Bo was accused of having the phones of party members tapped and of helping cover up a murder of a British businessman by his wife.
• Liu Yunshan, 65, the director of the propaganda department since 2007 and a Hu Jintao loyalist, closely connected to the Chinese Communist Youth League.
• Wang Qishan, 64, vice premier since 2008 and well-regard financial “reformer” who ran the state-owned China Construction Bank from 1994 to 1997.
• Zhang Gaoli, 65, also a well-connected party member who served as party secretary of Tiajin since 2007.
The most important selection, however, was that of party chairman, the new general secretary of the CPC Xi Jinping, 59. Xi is seen as more aggressively communist than Hu Jintao; as vice president, Xi demonstrated an adherence to core Communist Party ideals.
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