New faces in China’s leadership: Who will join Xi in power?

By Jesus Centeno


Beijing, Oct 23 (EFE).- The Secretary General of China’s Communist Party Xi Jinping, presented Sunday his new Permanent Committee, the select group of seven leaders in charge of governing the regime during the next five years.


Alongside Xi, 69, are four new faces in Chinese leadership, all men between the ages of 60 and 66.

Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks at a press conference introducing the new members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the 20th Chinese Communist Party (CPC) Central Committee at the Great Hall of People in Beijing, China, 23 October 2022. EFE-EPA/WU HAO


These are the faces of the new Standing Committee, all of them allies of the Chinese leader:


In theory, to replace the current prime minister, Li Keqiang, in March, Xi has appointed Li Qiang, General Secretary of the party in Shanghai, as No. 2.


Li has managed to rise despite being unable to stop the flood of Covid-19 cases in the eastern megalopolis last spring that led to a harsh confinement of almost three months.


His toughness in imposing the restrictions and his friendship with Xi, whom he accompanied in 2015 during his state visit to the United States, have weighed in his appointment.


Cai Qi, party secretary in Beijing, will also be part of the select group, having already worked with Xi when he led the Party in Zhejiang.


Cai was also the president of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, and has also stood out for leading – in Chinese eyes – an efficient response against Covid-19 in the capital.


Ding is another well-known Xi ally, with whom he began dealings when Xi worked temporarily as general secretary in Shanghai. Since, they have not stopped working together.


In recent years, Ding has stood out as director of the general office of the party, a position definable as chief of staff of the Chinese president.


The current general secretary of the party in the province of Canton – previously he held the same position in Liaoning – also managed to make the leap to the leadership of the formation.


Li grew closer to Xi’s family by running Yan’an Prefecture, the end point of Mao’s Long March and the center of revolutionary China between 1935 and 1949, when the People’s Republic was proclaimed.


The leader has been appointed head of the party’s feared disciplinary commission, one of Xi’s “star projects,” and which in the past five years has investigated more than 4.6 million cases within the party.


Wang Huning is one of Xi’s inner circle and has been the party’s main adviser and “ideologue” in recent years, betting on a strong and centralized state. His possible prize could be a promotion to the presidency of the National People’s Congress, the Chinese Legislature.


For his part, Zhao has so far headed the body in charge of fighting corruption in the Party and experts believe that after being succeeded by Li Xi he could go on to head the main Chinese advisory body. EFE


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