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 12, 2012
Central Committee list sent to delegates
The candidate list for the Communist Party's next Central Committee has been sent by the congress' presidium to the more than 2,200 delegates for discussion on Saturday, Xinhua reported yesterday. The delegates will cast votes before the party congress closes on Wednesday to choose the roughly 350 members. The committee will then select the Politburo and Politburo Standing Committee, the party's top decision-making body. The move is largely a formality as deciding the line-ups of leading bodies is in the hands of a small group of incumbent senior serving and retired leaders. Candidates for the committee outnumber seats by only a small portion, giving the 2,268 delegates little choice except on the margins. A list of candidates for the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the party's internal watchdog, was also forwarded to the delegates. Choi Chi-yuk
Party boss puts Xi on same level as Mao
The party boss of Yanan, a poor urban centre in the northern province of Shaanxi, compared future leader Xi Jinping's grass-roots experience in the city's remote village Liangjiahe to late paramount leader Mao Zedong's early years in the Communist Party's old revolutionary base. "Vice-President Xi Jinping was among 28,000 'sent-down youths' who were dispatched to Yanan (during the Cultural Revolution). It created another wave of impact to local people - politically, economically and ideologically - after Mao's years," Yao Yinliang told a press briefing. "I've been to the village, as well as the cave home Xi had lived in, where he spent seven harsh years. And local people spoke very highly of him, and nicknamed him 'a good fella'." But in an apparent slip of tongue, Yao later referred to him as "President Xi", although he will not take over from Hu Jintao until March. Yao confirmed that many senior officials, including Land and Resources Minister Xu Shaoshi and Shaanxi party chief Zhao Leji, had made trips to the village, but said they visited to inspect pilot projects, rather than pay tribute to Xi. Li Jing
Telecoms giants 'victims of politics'
Some foreign firms use "political measures" against Chinese telecommunications companies, the official in charge of the intellectual property office said on the sidelines of the party congress. Tian Lipu said firms including Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corporation complied with intellectual property regulations when doing business abroad. "International companies are no longer able to challenge Chinese firms on the ground of intellectual property protection, a method that used to be employed by them a lot," Tian said. "Now I'm really sorry to see that they are using other measures, including political means, in market competition. And this is not above board." Last month, the US House of Representatives' Intelligence Committee said the two Shenzhen-based companies are used by the central government for spying. Huawei and ZTE are the second- and fifth-largest makers of telecoms equipment, respectively. Keith Zhai
Official denies leaders have too much power
When asked if party leaders have too much power and whether they should publicly declare their assets, Tian Lipu, director of the State Intellectual Property Bureau, answered with a smile. "I can speak only for myself. Personally, I don't feel I have that much power," Tian said, adding that he has no personal control over the certificate of patent. "To issue such a certificate, various departments need to follow respective rules and issue the certificate according to those regulations. I can't ask them to issue the certificate by using my power." Tian also said he would like to disclose his personal assets to the public once the central government makes a decision on this. Keith Zhai