Archive for the ‘Party Congress’ Category

A Whiff of Openness at China’s Congress

March 14, 2008

By Jill Drew 
Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, March 14, 2008; Page A13

BEIJING — China is awash in policy proposals as more than 5,000 people meet this month to ratify laws handed down by Communist Party leaders. The official Chinese news media portray it as democracy in action — delegates, selected by local officials to represent their regions, offer ideas for laws they believe will improve conditions back home.
China's Polituro standing member and likely future successor ... 
China’s Polituro standing member and likely future successor to President Hu, Xi Jinping, foreground, delivers remarks as China’s President Hu Jintao looks on during the plenary session of the National People’s Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing in this March 11, 2008 file photo. Entrusted with the Beijing Olympics and set to be made vice president, Xi Jinpeng is moving closer to cementing his status as China’s future president and Communist Party leader.
(AP Photo/Andy Wong)

The Great Hall of the People is not exactly filled with activists and partisans vigorously debating the future of the country’s leadership. That topic is off-limits. Still, the delegates are engaged in an elaborate process that analysts say is opening a window on President Hu Jintao‘s tentative efforts to make the Communist Party relevant and to provide a controlled forum for debate.

Chinese officials have trumpeted the openness and inclusiveness of this year’s two-week National People’s Congress (NPC) and a concurrent set of meetings by the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Congress, the government’s top advisory body. Proposals are being published for public comment instead of just being offered for a rubber-stamp vote. There are noticeably more news conferences than in years past. And for the first time, several meetings of the provincial delegations have been opened to journalists.

In meetings, delegates can disagree with party positions and suggest alternatives, said David Shambaugh, director of the China policy program at George Washington University. “But if you go out and organize others,” he said, “the red line is crossed.”

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China’s leadership ‘election’ begins

March 12, 2008

BEIJING (AFP) – The nominees for China’s president and prime minister were unveiled to the national parliament Wednesday, state media said, kicking off the nation’s communist-style election process.
Chinese President Hu Jintao (L) and Premier Wen Jiabao attend ... 
Chinese President Hu Jintao (L) and Premier Wen Jiabao attend the opening session of the Communist Party’s National People’s Congress on March 5. The nominees for China’s president and prime minister were unveiled to the national parliament , kicking off the nation’s election process.(AFP/Frederic J. Brown)

The nomination lists were handed over to the nearly 3,000 delegates at the ongoing National People’s Congress for “discussion and consultation”, Xinhua news agency said of the nation’s opaque political process.

On Saturday, the annual parliament will elect a president, vice president and parliament head, while delegates will rubber stamp the nomination for prime minister on Sunday.

President Hu Jintao is almost certain to be elected to a second five-year term and is expected to re-nominate Wen Jiabao as his prime minister, or premier, sources with knowledge of communist politics here said.

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China Ushers Into Position Its Next Era Of Leaders

October 22, 2007

By Edward Cody
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, October 22, 2007; Page A17

BEIJING, Oct. 22 — Xi Jinping, the son of a Chinese guerrilla leader who rose through the ranks to become Communist Party chief in business-friendly Shanghai, was designated Monday as the most likely successor to President Hu Jintao as leader of the world’s most populous nation.

Xi Jinping
Xi Jinping

Xi, 54, a Ph. D. in economics, was the highest ranked of four newcomers in a new Politburo Standing Committee, the pinnacle of power in China’s Communist system. The nine-man group, including Hu and four other holdovers, was unveiled at a ritual introductory appearance before journalists following its acclamation by the new Central Committee that emerged Sunday from the party’s week-long 17th National Congress.

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China mum on new leadership on Party Congress eve

October 14, 2007

BEIJING (Reuters) – China‘s ruling Communist Party insisted on Sunday it remained relevant in the face of rapid social change, and on the eve of a major Party conclave indicated any steps toward political reform would keep it firmly in charge.

Li Dongsheng, spokesman for the 17th Party Congress, a five-yearly meeting that decides the country’s direction and leadership line-up, kept with the Party’s tradition of secrecy, giving no hint as to how its closed-door decisions will be made.
Congress spokesman Li Dongsheng answers a question during a news conference on the eve of the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in Beijing.

“Our party emphasizes holding up high the great banner of socialism with distinct Chinese features,” Li told a news conference. Political reform “must be promoted actively, yet prudently.”

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Tensions high as China’s top communists prepare to meet

October 13, 2007

by Karl Malakunas

BEIJING (AFP) – China‘s Communist Party elite will gather on Monday for the nation’s most important political event in five years — a meeting that is expected to see President Hu Jintao tighten his grip on power.

At the party’s Congress, careers of top cadres will be killed off and rising stars are expected to emerge as successors to Hu, while revamped policy blueprints will be unveiled.

Tensions have been high in Beijing leading into the Congress, with dozens of dissidents detained or placed under surveillance, although their calls for democracy and greater human rights have filtered out to foreign media.

In further efforts to silence dissent …

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China’s Verbal Abuse of Taiwan

October 12, 2007

The Christian Science Monitor
October 12, 2007

Small, democratic Taiwan expects volleys of verbal fireworks against it next week when China‘s Communist Party meets in a congress held every five years. The new threats wouldn’t be worth much notice – if China wasn’t also revving up its war machine against Taiwan.

China’s leaders are expected to set a higher priority to their long-standing claim over this “breakaway” island about 100 miles off the mainland. Just how high will depend on how well China reads its own past.

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