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18th Party Congress

The Chinese Communist Party's 18th Congress, held in Beijing November 8-14, 2012, marked a key power transition in China. A new generation of leaders, headed by Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang, took over from the previous leadership headed by Hu Jintao. The Communist Party's Politburo Standing Committee was reduced in number from nine to seven. Unlike his predecessor Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao handed over both the Party General Secretary and Chairman of the Central Military Commission positions to Xi.  

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China's top leadership: is a smaller club good or bad?

PUBLISHED : Monday, 08 October, 2012, 2:38pm
UPDATED : Monday, 08 October, 2012, 3:08pm

A meeting held by the Chinese Communist Party's leadership at Beidaihe about two month ago reportedly decided that the Standing Committee of the Party's Politburo, or China's top decision-making body, would reduce its members from the current nine to seven people. Instead of being automatically granted seats at the top table, the Party's propaganda chief and head of the security apparatus are likely to be downgraded to normal Politburo members.

How will this decision, if upheld at the 18th Party Congress in November, affect China's political landscape? Does this change mean the Party is relaxing its grip on freedom of press and there will be less ideology propaganda? Will this move limit the power of the security apparatus that cracks down on political dissidents and seeks to maintain "social stability" at all cost? Does a smaller leadership size necessarily lead to a more efficient executive body? Moreover, is it a step back, as many have worried, from widening an already highly centralized decision making administration?

 

 

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rosssuz
Time will only tell...but, Beijing needs to realize that due to the globalized media and the 24/7 news cycle, its actions, decisions, and the outcomes will be watched more and with more scrutiny.
kevin2007
The so-called democratic centralism turns out to be bad, man!!! See the party if not China going to collapse anytime now! 5,000 years of history gave the Chinese people a country as such, what a god-damn shame, man!!!
shenghao.feng
When the propaganda and security chiefs are removed from the standing committee, whoever holds these positions will have less power and will be more likely to implement the ideas from the top. In terms of risk management this is a step back, since, at least in theory, the more diversified the leadership the less risk. However this may also turn out to be good if the top leadership is open and reform minded. In this case they will have less trouble having their ideas being carried out.
awsg
it appears to me that this is just a step back to the "original" structure, which had 7 in the Standing Committee. it would appear to stabilize that group and keep its size from growing out of hand, thus being more likely to stay functional. whether that is a good thing or not is a different debate altogether.

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