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.
Congress Briefs, November 11, 2012
Beijing plans 600b budget for railways
The central government plans to spend 600 billion yuan (HK$740 billion) on railway infrastructure next year, with 60 per cent of the investment going to high-speed projects, a senior executive from the leading rail and highway builder said. Li Changjin, chairman of China Railway, also said it was difficult to complete this year's plan for railway infrastructure investment. He was speaking on the sidelines of the Communist Party's 18th congress. Reuters
'Mao Zedong thought' to stay, official says
A Communist Party official has dismissed any suggestion that the tenet of "Mao Zedong thought" would be removed from the party's charter. Some reform advocates argue that the late leader's theories are outdated and out of step with current party practice. But Wang Weiguang, deputy party secretary of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said "Mao Zedong thought" was consistent with "socialism with Chinese characteristics". Teddy Ng
Hu's maritime security reference 'significant'
State Oceanic Administration director Liu Cigui said Communist Party general secretary Hu Jintao's mention of maritime security in his report had strategic significance as the importance of protecting the country's coasts was growing. He said China had recently taken a series of measures to protect its maritime integrity, showing the international community its determination to defend its territorial rights. Teddy Ng
Release of iPhone 5 coming soon, firms say
China Unicom chairman Chang Xiaobing said his company would release the iPhone 5 by the end of the year, after government tests and approvals. He spoke on the sidelines of the party congress. Wang Xiaochu , chief executive of China Telecom, which signed a sales agreement with Apple this year, also said it would start selling the iPhone 5 by next month. Teddy Ng
Presidium approves list of candidates
The party's leadership transition officially edged ahead, with the executive body of the congress forwarding a list of names to delegates for review. State media reported that the congress' presidium approved the candidate list for the Central Committee and sent it to the delegates. The delegates will cast votes before the congress closes on Wednesday to choose the Central Committee, which will select the top leadership. AP