Entries in Xi Jinping (6)


China Announces Next Generation of Leaders

George Doyle/Thinkstock(BEIJING) -- The leadership torch in China has officially been passed.

The country's 91-year-old Communist party announced on Thursday a new generation of leaders led by former Vice President Xi Jinping.  He takes over as General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee.

Also, in somewhat of a surprise, Xi was named the new chairman of China's military.  His predecessor, former President Hu Jintao, waited two years to assume that role.

The new Standing Committee, which is comprised of Xi and six other men, is seen as politically conservative -- a sign some say indicates reform may be undertaken but not embraced in a country facing domestic unrest and a slowing economy.

The old guard will fully transition out of power by March.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


China Hints at New Leadership

George Doyle/Thinkstock(BEIJING) -- China has given its strongest indication yet of who its next generation of leaders will be.

At the close of the week-long Communist party meeting, China’s state run news agency, Xinhua, released a list of the ten top names on the Central Committee.

Vice President Xi Jinping, who met President Obama in February, is at number one.  At number two is outgoing President Hu Jintao’s protege: Li Keqiang.

Also included is Wang Qishan, who is well known in the U.S. as an economic problem solver -- former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson once called him "decisive and inquisitive."

And for the first time in China’s history, a woman joins top leadership: Liu Yandong.

The official Standing Committee -- the seven to nine members that will essentially rule the country for the next decade -- is expected to be announced Thursday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Superpower in Transition: China’s National Congress Kicks Off

GOH CHAI HIN/AFP/Getty Images(BEIJING) -- Just days after the U.S. election, China is gearing up to announce its own new leadership.

The 18th National Congress kicked off in Beijing Thursday, signaling a transition of power at the top of the Communist Party.

But unlike the U.S., there are no debates, no campaigns and no election in China.  Instead, the signs of political change are marked by a massive security presence in Beijing as over 2,000 Communist party leaders gather to formally announce the country’s next generation of rulers.  Very little is known about the process to appoint new leaders, even less about the man expected to take the helm.

Outgoing President Hu Jintao delivered his farewell remarks from a podium in the Great Hall of the People, flanked by stoic and nearly silent party members.

In a speech meant to highlight his role in transforming China into a global, economic powerhouse, Hu’s focus was surprisingly negative.  He said the country’s social problems -- disparity of wealth, pollution and food safety, to name a few -- are "unsustainable" and could bring about the "collapse" of the country.

Hu said China faces a "period of great change" that includes a sagging economy under "complicated domestic and international circumstances."  He mentioned corruption no less than 16 times.  And yet, he urged the next generation of party leaders to maintain "firm control" -- signaling political reform is far from given.

Vice President Xi Jinping, the man expected to be named party secretary and president, and later chairman of the military, sat quietly onstage throughout.  He is expected to be formally announced as China’s new ruler on Wednesday.

All eyes will be on the seven party members who will make up the new Standing Committee -- the core faction that essentially runs the country.  As far as reading tea leaves on how China will handle the next decade, the resume of those on the Standing Committee may offer the best take on which direction China will take.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Where in the World Is China’s Xi Jingping?

PAIROJ/AFP/Getty Images(TIANJIN, China) -- No one outside the Chinese government knows for sure where Vice President Xi Jingping is these days. The presumed leader in waiting has not been seen in public for over a week.

As the mystery over his whereabouts deepens, the government has yet to offer an official explanation or even acknowledge Xi’s absence.

This week, online searches for Xi have been blocked.  While it’s not unusual for the Chinese government to remain mum on the private lives of its public figures, it is odd that such a high-ranking government official would simply disappear so close to China’s once-in-a-decade transition of power.  The new government is expected to be announced next month.

Xi, who is 59, made his last public appearance at the Central Party School on Sept. 1 in Beijing. He looked to be in decent health, but a string of recently cancelled public appearances with visiting foreign dignitaries is fueling online speculation.

Last week, an appearance with Secretary of State Hilary Clinton was cancelled at the last minute.  It was likely Mrs. Clinton’s last trip to China in her current capacity, and the two have worked relatively closely together several times during her tenure.  But the Foreign Ministry gave no explanation for Xi's absence nor did it explain his failure to meet with Sinapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong the same day.

On Monday, Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt was in Beijing, but did not meet with Xi.  She later said in an interview that a meeting with the vice president had never been on her schedule, although a media advisory circulated on Sept. 5 reportedly listed a photo opportunity with the two leaders.

The South China Morning Post reported on Tuesday that an unnamed source told the Hong Kong-based newspaper that Xi had injured his back while swimming. A second source told the paper the same thing.  

A third source described Xi as “unwell,” but that it was not serious. That did not stop the netizen community from swapping speculation ranging from a car accident engineered by a political enemy to a soccer injury.

On Tuesday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei dismissed any suggestion that Xi is suffering from a serious ailment.

But Kenneth Lieberthal, of the Brookings Institution, told the Wall Street Journal, “Something is amiss -- otherwise, they would have found an opportunity for him to be seen.  But whether he hurt his back or there is some other problem is something that at this point there is no way to know with confidence.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Most Americans See China Unfavorably, Poll Finds

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- China’s future president has some bridges to build on his visit to the United States: More than half of Americans continue to see his country unfavorably overall.

Fifty-two percent of those surveyed in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll expressed an unfavorable impression of China, compared to 37 percent who see it favorably.  That continues a dramatic turnaround from a brief period of overwhelmingly positive views at the time of China’s pro-democracy demonstrations nearly a quarter century ago.

Strength of sentiment in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, also indicates China’s image problem: Nearly three times as many Americans see it “strongly” unfavorably -- 26 percent -- as strongly favorably -- 9 percent.  Nonetheless, it’s perhaps surprising that strongly negative views aren’t higher, given the economic competition between the two countries.

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping meets with President Obama in Washington on Tuesday.  Xi is expected to take over general secretary of China’s Communist Party this year and as the country’s president in 2013.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Vice President Biden Bonds with Chinese Counterpart

ABC News(BEIJING) -- Vice President Joe Biden was formally welcomed to China Thursday morning by Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping in an elaborate ceremony at the Great Hall of the People.

Biden is on a week-long mission to East Asia that includes four days in China, where the administration says he will invest in the future of Sino-American relations by trying to get to know Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping better.  Xi is expected to become China’s next leader.

In opening remarks, both Xi and Biden recognized the increasing interdependence between the two countries, as well as their common challenges -- the economy in particular.  They both stressed that cooperation was imperative; that's pretty much a given considering how much U.S. debt China owns, and how many products from China are imported into the States.

The two men will be spending a lot of time together during Biden’s China visit, which was described as a unique opportunity to “regularize and personalize” a relationship with the future Chinese leader.

In a background briefing, senior administration officials described Thursday's meetings as “candid”  but readng through the diplomatic speak could mean "heated" or "argumentative."

They described the two men as having a genuine back and forth, talking about a huge range of issues, from security issues like North Korea, Iran and Pakistan to the economy.  The American official found it "frankly unusual for leaders to engage so deeply on such a broad spectrum."  They engaged so deeply that the smaller, closed press meeting between Biden and Xi ran 45 minutes into "overtime."

The senior administration officials said that in stark contrast to what is being said in the Chinese media about the U.S.’s economic prospects, Xi and his delegation are actually bullish on the U.S. economy, especially after the debt deal that the officials said that Biden was instrumental in ushering through.

As for Xi himself, the officials found him to be a “cool,” “deliberate,” ”confident,” and “extremely engaged” leader, who was “clearly relishing the opportunity to sit down with a global peer.”

On Friday, Biden will meet with Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio