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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.  

NewsChina
18th PARTY CONGRESS

Central Committee vote belies much touted intra-party democracy

Number of Central Committee candidates now matches number of seats

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 14 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 14 November, 2012, 1:32pm
 

The level of competition in preliminary voting for the elite Central Committee turned out to be lower than expected, dealing another embarrassing blow to the Communist Party's much touted internal democracy.

The formal vote to be held today at the concluding session of the week-long party congress will not be competitive, analysts said, meaning that the number of candidates will match the number of seats available.

Xinhua said at least 8 per cent of nominees were eliminated in the first-round elections for membership and alternate membership (stand-ins in the event a member has to be replaced) of the Central Committee and membership of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the party's top anti-corruption agency.

Official media have been tight-lipped on the exact size of the new Central Committee, but Gansu party congress delegate Wang Dong revealed late yesterday that 205 of 224 candidates had been shortlisted in the first round, meaning 9.3 per cent were eliminated.

That marks little improvement from the previous party congress five years ago, at which 8.3 per cent were eliminated in early voting.

Several other delegates also said 19 candidates had been eliminated in primary elections held on Sunday and Monday. That compared with 17 in 2007.

The two-stage practice is a compromise designed to give congress delegates some freedom to vote while at the same time making sure the result of the formal vote is predetermined.

Despite widespread speculation that party general secretary Hu Jintao may have wanted to promote his own brand of democracy - so-called "intra-party democracy" - by making the preliminary polls more competitive, analysts said he had once again failed to live up to public expectations.

Hong Kong-based analyst Johnny Lau Yui-siu said the results laid bare the leadership's reluctance to push for meaningful political reform.

It basically disappoints everyone who still had hopes for the top-down approach to intra-party democracy

"It basically disappoints everyone who still had hopes for the top-down approach to intra-party democracy," he said.

He said the fact that Xinhua's report yesterday did not mention the exact percentage of nominees eliminated showed the leadership did not have much to show off about.

"If we look at the 13th party congress 25 years ago, when the idea of electoral competition was first introduced with [5 per cent more candidates than seats on] the Central Committee, we'll see the talk of intra-party democracy is nothing but deception," Lau said.

Professor Zhu Lijia, from the Chinese Academy of Governance in Beijing, warned the party had missed yet another opportunity for bolder reform, which an increasingly impatient public is demanding.

"The marginal progress is far from enough to reinitiate meaningful political reform, which has been stalled for over a decade under Hu's leadership," he said.

Beijing-based analyst Chen Ziming also weighed in. "As long as the so-called elections are not subject to public scrutiny, intra-party democracy remains an empty promise," he said.

Xinhua said the congress' 247-member presidium met for the third and last time yesterday and approved the number and names of candidates for today's final ballot.

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This article is now closed to comments

Sunny
Chinese artist Ai Weiwei says 'China must adapt or die'
www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20320668
shafinhk
It is only Chinese government who knows how to control billion of Chinese. democracy is good for those who are educated people. in China most people are not educated, they cant differentiated between horse and donkey so one party government is good. Doors of the party are open to all intelligent and capable persons as long as they are willing to work under that system.
there is nothing to sorry for China because china is what it is. unlike western and USA government who are hypocrites.
China will change and it takes time and sooner or later you will see that. look at just 15 years ago. do you see same China? lets wait next 15 years, you will see what wonderful china would be.
lucifer
This same argument about the uneducated masses being unable to meaningfully participate in a democracy was made in 1912 following the fall of the Qing…yet some 100 years later the same argument is made, albeit to prevent political reforms that preserve Party rule. The standard that you refer to is one that can never be met and thus the denial of participation in the political process is something that can apparently go on indefinitely.
Sunny
Being uneducated is not good enough reason to not give its people freedom. The CCP had 60 years in power to educate its people. The problem for them is that if their people are educated, they can not longer control their minds through brainwashing such as national education. If the masses are educated, who else would be willing to work like a slave in the biggest factory of the world which is key to China being the second biggest economy in the world?
Door are open only to those who are willing to become a communist, become atheist and to worship the party as God. Most people outside of China feel sorry for the citizens who are imprisoned in this archaic and outdated system.
xiaoblueleaf
Can democracy be expected with a Mafia-like syndicate organization?
qiaohan
Bert, Perhaps people would take you a lot more seriously if you could confine your comments to something related to the article instead of these long winded rants that have nothing to do with the topic. For gosh sakes man, do yourself a favor and get a job will ya?
bert
level is not very optimistic about the major U.S. economic, diplomatic, and other supporting change in order to adapt to the reality of the world and international pattern. Russian Fuguoqiangbing the necessity of strong Russia and Europe, India, may also be out of the game. decision should not be overlooked. nuclear ****nal, the United States and Russia is much larger than China. European change will take some time and India, Pakistan, Arab continue to develop and change. Specifically, it is very complicated and subtle. anyone want to make history, but only follow a history of any of the characters to grasp the historical opportunity to create or rewrite history. these ideas, whether the President of the United States, the Chinese leadership, or Russia, the European Union, United Nations, India, Brazil, the Arab world, and so are equally good, simple to talk about these complex problems today. Christmas is coming, the way greetings to you and others. {an interview with reporters, including media correspondents, the network reporter's question, here are mainly based on interviews telephone recording finishing part made technical polish. 2012/11/14 Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland}//// lvanov.f, contact:ford.yohn@gmail.com,lvavlvan@gmail.com //moscow//geneva
14/nov/2012
VicSexton
Jesus Bert, enough already. (and no I didn't read it before you ask)
bert
pressure forced some concessions or reforms may do, in order to maintain and stabilize support of the people, the party, the morale of the troops, and to cope with international pressure, however, substantial reform far impossible. Even Russian President Vladimir Putin, Meidejieye new Deng Xiaoping, Wen Jiabao, as has been the lack of courage to the character and charm of the political reform of economic reform. husband as political change ambitions Du thing.) the reform of state-owned enterprises, farmers transformation issues, structural reform, the gap between rich and poor, etc. These are deep and difficult changes. these newcomers really have that kind of courage and wisdom What?? generation basically has not experienced the Cultural Revolution, all experienced, at best, or the educational impact of the "Little Red Guards", even when the Cultural Revolution, who are some setbacks, however, not much harm and suffering experienced rather nostalgic but often. Once Shilaiyunzhuan, they carried away. Bo is proof what so political reform in China, I remain skeptical and question mark. fact, there will not be a big improvement changes. then there are international issues and the United States, China, Russia, Europe, the United Nations, India, Brazil, and so must face and wrestling can not say that the world has been the integration of globalization, but many problems worldwide, lack Which side are difficult to resolve. course, the sub-group of countries, interest groups can not
bert
U.S. leaders, coming soon, I have read a lot of comments and predictive analysis. regardless of who is in power, the new changes will always be, but essence analysis, the two sides will not be a breakthrough. Democratic Party popular, but courage is not required a great deal of transformation for the economy vital, international hot processing, as well as democracy, freedom and human rights, relations with Russia, the United States should adjust its strategy adjust the many problems of the economic, political, military, diplomatic, and cultural aspects of China, too, economic, political, diplomatic, cultural and many other issues, such as political reform, (according to the current situation and the Chinese Communist political changes in judgment, China Politburo and the courage and strength of the Standing Committee of the reform is not strong at home and abroad, inside and outside the party, military and non-military, intellectual, social a class discontent and

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