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Asia-Pacific
China unveils new leaders
New blood promoted to nine-man committee that will steer country for next five years.
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2007 08:44 GMT
China's new leadership signals Hu's tightening
grip on power [AFP]
China's ruling Communist party has unveiled a new leadership line-up for the next five years, with four fresh faces and the likely successor to Hu Jintao, the president, among them.
 
The new membership of the politburo standing committee – the nine most powerful men in the country - indicates Hu's tightening grip on power.
The list emerged after a closely controlled vote by the party's 204-member central committee which was installed at the end of a five-yearly congress on Sunday.
 
Joining the standing committee was Li Keqiang, 52.
Potential rivals
 
Li was party boss of the northeastern industrial province of Liaoning, who worked under Hu in the Communist Youth League.
 
Spotlight on Chinese leaders

Hu

Hu Jintao, 64, president, retains position as party general-secretary, head of the Standing Committee of the Politburo and the head of the Central Military Commission.

 

 Li
Newcomer Li Keqiang, 52, heads the northeastern Liaoning province and is tipped to succeed Hu as party boss in five years. Credited with solving economic issues.

 

Xi

Another newcomer, Xi Jinping, 54, became Shanghai's top official following a corruption scandal involving his predecessor. Not a Hu favourite.

 

He

He Guoqiang, 64, head of party organisation department.

 

Jia Qinglin, 67, principal adviser to the government with close ties with Jiang Zemin.

 

Zhou

Zhou Yongkang, 64, China's public security minister.

 

Li Changchun, 63, ideology tsar and also a Jiang ally.

 

Wen Jiabao, 65, China's prime minister and a close Hu ally, stays put.

 

Wu Bangguo, 66, the party's No 2 ranking official and speaker in China's legislature.

Xi Jinping, 54, the Shanghai party boss who does not have longstanding ties to Hu, has also been ushered into the inner core.
 
The two are expected to be rivals to eventually replace Hu when he steps aside in five years.
 
Another new member is He Guoqiang, who will be in charge of investigating corrupt officials and whom analysts consider a protege of the outgoing Zeng Qinghong, the powerful vice-president who had been seen as a check to Hu's power.
 
Zhou Yongkang, the country's police chief credited with creating a more professional and powerful force, is the fourth fresh face on the committee.
 
Two holdovers from Hu's predecessor Jiang Zemin's time - Jia Qinglin, the senior adviser to parliament, and ideology tsar Li Changchun, along with Wen Jiabao, the premier, and parliament chief Wu Bangguo, retained their seats.
 
As expected, Hu was named head of the party for a second term, an endorsement for him to lead the country for five more years.

 

Hu, 64, was named as party general-secretary, head of the standing committee of the politburo, and the head of the central military commission.

 

"We are keenly aware of our difficult task and grave responsibilities," Hu said as the new leadership team appeared before the press.

 

"We will do our best to be worthy of the great trust the entire membership places in us."

 

Younger leaders

 

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The departure of Zeng along with Luo Gan and Wu Guanzheng and the promotion of Hu supporters to the party's leadership core indicates Hu's emergence from the shadows of his predecessor Jiang.
 
State media said on Monday that the leadership wanted to promote younger, well-educated yet politically unwavering officials to steer the country through potentially turbulent change.
 
The People's Daily said the members of the new central committee had to "maintain high-level unity" with Hu's leadership and to have "passed the test of hardship during crucial times and major incidents".
 
"There must be a politically resolute, staunchly unified and energetic and promising collective central leadership," the paper said.
 
Intense secrecy had surrounded who and how many officials would be recruited into the politburo - an elite council of 20-odd members - and the all-powerful standing committee.
Source:
Agencies
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