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.  

There's good reason for China's bluster

A member of China's People Liberation Army (PLA) stands at guard on the missile destroyer 'Qingdao'. Photo: EPA

Our recent story outlining the strategic and historical context behind the statements from outgoing President Hu Jintao that China must "build itself into a maritime power" made interesting reading for anyone wanting to understand what is going on in the region.

Monday, 7 January, 2013, 2:36am 3 comments

Two appointments, one policy paper and a clock strikes nine

Xi Jinping's 'liberal' side

He hugged babies. He was public about his love for his wife. He spoke without party jargon. Vice-President Xi Jinping has displayed a liberal image.

Yet, any expectations of him being soft on Hong Kong will be proven very wrong.

5 Jan 2013 - 2:22am

Stock listings pencilled in for second half of 2013

Waiting in line

Many mainland companies that were forced to delay their listing plans in 2012 due to a weak market environment may find they are unable to relaunch their plans any time soon until some political uncertainties are resolved, bankers say.

2 Jan 2013 - 11:10am

Quickest way to get corrupt officials to change is threat of trial by microblog

The Chinese government pledges to clean up Chinese politics. Photo: AFP

From his speech at the 18th national party congress last month, it was clear that, for outgoing President Hu Jintao, fighting corruption was a priority. President-to-be Xi Jinping also appears to want to tackle the issue head on.

31 Dec 2012 - 3:23am

The best stories of 2012 from South China Morning Post

The best stories of 2012

It's been a year of unforgettable stories from Hong Kong, China and around the world.

12 Mar 2013 - 3:36pm

China sets date for 12th National People’s Congress

Visitors with the national flags in hands pose for photos on the Tian'anmen Square. Photo:Xinhua

China has fixed March 5, next year, as the date it will convene a key legislative session, state media reported on Friday, with new Communist Party chief Xi Jingping set to become president during the two-week meeting.

29 Dec 2012 - 9:13am

New dawn for China? Corruption crackdown nets big and small officials

SCMP Graphic by Joe Lo

Click on our interactive map

17 Sep 2014 - 4:55pm

Beijing must provide evidence to support political warning

Around 50,000 protesters gather outside Legco Building for disapproval of an anti-subversion bill (Article 23) in 2003.  Photo: Ricky Chung

Tension is rising after Beijing apparently stepped up its rhetoric on how Hong Kong should be governed. After a war of words over an alleged pro-independence force in the city, a top mainland official sparked more controversy by accusing external forces of interfering with local elections.

3 Dec 2012 - 2:34am 1 comment

Hongkongers' unacceptable ignorance of China's government

Hongkongers' unacceptable ignorance of China's government.

A couple of weeks ago, something strange started to happen. It seemed most people I met who knew me here in Hong Kong were all asking me the same question: why wasn't I in Beijing?

30 Nov 2012 - 2:03am 8 comments

Shanghai market drops below key 2,000 level

A flood of share offerings in the past two years were blamed for the market slump.

The mainland's key stock indicator slipped below the psychologically important 2,000-point level yesterday, entering a territory last seen nearly four years ago.

The Shanghai Composite Index fell 26.3 points, or 1.3 per cent, to close at 1,991.17, the first time below the key level since January 23, 2009.

28 Nov 2012 - 2:34am

Changing of the guards

Hu Jintao, right, shakes hands with Xi Jinping as they meet with delegates to the 18th Communist Party Congress in Beijing. Photo: AP

It’s a once-in-a-decade exercise. Behind closed doors, deals are struck and broken, careers are bought and sold, battles are won and lost. When the white smoke finally rises from the conclave chimney, new kings are crowned and another layer of intervening leadership is added to one of the most opaque political systems in the world.

23 Nov 2012 - 1:40pm

Xi Jinping's public relations test

Xi Jinping looks like he can create a bond with the people of China.

The months of speculation are mercifully over. Questions of whether there would be nine or seven are now resolved; who is in and who is out is settled. When the new Chinese Communist Party leadership walked before the world's press last week, there was a feeling of anticlimax. If Hu Jintao had wanted to create a process that ended up boring everyone into submission, it worked.

23 Nov 2012 - 1:51pm 1 comment

China's old and new leaders should seize moment for economic reform

China's old and new leaders must seize the opportunity to kick off economic reform. Photo: AP

From an economic perspective, the 18th party congress closed at just the right time. New data shows that growth benchmarks in the industrial, investment, export and consumption sectors have been rising for two months, reversing the short-term downward trend.

8 May 2015 - 9:46am 1 comment

Communist Party's well-planned route to successful rule

What the outside world saw at the 18th party congress in Beijing last week was only the tip of a gigantic iceberg.

China's microblogosphere before and after the 18th party congress appeared markedly different. Before, loud voices demanded democracy, predicting that the Communist Party would drop its Mao Zedong Thought tenets and ridiculing the party's opaque power politics in light of the recent US election.

20 Nov 2012 - 3:09am 11 comments

New Year in November (Reprise)

US President Barack Obama waves at supporters following his victory speech on election night November 6, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo: AFP

Four years ago, I wrote an article titled New Year in November about Barack Obama’s historic victory. That’s what it felt like – a new beginning, a rebirth – even to a blogger half the world away.

19 Nov 2012 - 5:35pm