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.  

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

There's good reason for China's bluster

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.