[QODLink]
101 East
China: Whispers of change
China's Communist Party is about to confirm a new generation of leaders, but is the party resistant to change?
Last Modified: 02 Nov 2012 12:39

As it prepares to appoint a new generation of leaders, China's ruling Communist Party faces increasing pressure to change. A series of scandals has chipped away at the party's image of unity and a weakening economy threatens to raise public dissatisfaction.

The ascendance of Xi Jinping to the presidency and Li Keqiang to prime minister is in little doubt, but questions swirl over who will fill the remaining positions in the Politburo Standing Committee, which wields the ultimate political power in China.

Connect with 101 East

The sacking of former Chongqing party chief Bo Xilai last spring set off shockwaves across the political establishment and exposed fissures within the leadership.

A slowing economy and an increasingly restive society fed up with corruption and what it sees as a privileged elite held unaccountable by law are bringing new calls for reform.

Many wonder whether China's leadership has grown so entrenched with its own financial interests that it is incapable of adapting. And some worry that without effective reform, the nation risks fragmenting into a new Cultural Revolution-style crisis.

Populists want to remake the party to reflect Mao Zedong's early vision, redistributing government riches to the people. A so-called new democracy movement, led by a rural economist and journalist named Zhang Musheng, is gaining followers with a plan to add checks and balances to one-party rule and to significantly expand welfare benefits.

A second Communist camp wants to open the party to internal competition, abandoning the leadership's facade of unity and letting rival factions take their ideas to the wider party for approval.

Meanwhile, the public, which stands outside the halls of political power, can only watch and wonder if anything will change.

In this episode of 101 East, we look at the significance of this once-in-a-decade handover and explore the different visions for changing China's leadership. Will China stick to the status quo, or will it reform in a planned methodical manner or in a flurry of protests from a disgruntled populace?

 
101 East airs each week at the following times GMT: Thursday: 2230; Friday: 0930; Saturday: 0330; Sunday: 1630.

Click here for more 101 East.

408

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Featured
Pro-Russia leaders' election in Ukraine's east shows bloody conflict is far from a peaceful resolution.
Critics challenge Canberra's move to refuse visas for West Africans in Ebola-besieged countries.
A key issue for Hispanics is the estimated 11.3 million immigrants in the US without papers who face deportation.
In 1970, only two mosques existed in the country, but now more than 200 offer sanctuary to Japan's Muslims.
Hundreds of the country's reporters eke out a living by finding news - then burying it for a price.
join our mailing list