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China leadership transition

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.  

CommentInsight & Opinion

How they see it, December 30, 2012

2012 - the year in review

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 30 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 30 December, 2012, 5:50am

1. Global Times

The most important event in China in 2012 was undoubtedly the change of leadership, which is why societal issues came into focus. Keeping the entire year in perspective, most of the problems have come to a soft landing and attitudes throughout society are becoming increasingly positive. Most of those complex attitudes have been transferred into positive energy to drive national reform after the 18th Party Congress. This large-scale change will provide Chinese society more experience in self-examination … The year 2012 also reflected some institutional problems … which have sounded an alarm. Public supervision of the authorities should be encouraged and political democracy should be enlarged. (Beijing)

 

2. The Sydney Morning Herald

It has been a year dominated by 24/7 scandal, sleaze and sledging, instead of policy and positivity. It's the year we had to have, to clear the decks for the election year we have to have … The defining memory of 2012 is the fixation of the opposition and the media on testing the legitimacy of the government and the nation's first female prime minister, Julia Gillard. It's been grubby, disrespectful and unedifying at times … Most of all, this year has been a wasted opportunity. The negativity has been an inevitable flow-on from the prime minister's dumping of her pledge not to have a carbon tax. Many will never forgive her for that. The good news is that her misogyny speech has been a turning point. (Sydney)

 

3. The Guardian 

Having failed to come to an end last week, the world has now also failed to be reborn this Christmas. Or at least so it would seem for the comfortably familiar world of British party politics … None of the political parties should delude themselves. Britain has not been plunged into undifferentiated gloom. The year-end post-Olympic mood is strong and upbeat in many ways. A slim majority thinks this has been a better country to live in during 2012, in spite of rain and recession. That's quite an endorsement … But the politicians should not assume that voters are being irrational in doubting that any of the parties can turn this country's economic problems around any time soon. The voters could actually be right. (London)

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