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Congress over, leadership to be unveiled today

world Updated: Nov 15, 2012 01:54 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis

The Communist Party of China (CPC) wrapped up its key 18th Congress on Wednesday, re-electing leaders Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang to its Central Committee and clearing the way to unveil the country’s new leadership line-up on Thursday.

Besides Xi and Li, eight other top CPC leaders were also returned to the Central Committee by Party delegates in what is considered to be a rubber-stamp election process.

The Party’s powerful Standing Committee is likely to be chosen from among these 10 top leaders of the Party. The current number of members of the Standing Committee is 9; it could be reduced to seven.

Wednesday’s concluding session of the week-long Congress was marked by an amendment to the Party’s Constitution which tightened oversight of officials and emphasises on reforming and opening as the path for China’s process.

“The Congress elected a new central committee of the Party and replaced older leaders with younger ones,” incumbent President Hu Jintao said in his closing address.

The Central Committee will endorse the Politburo and the Standing Committee of the Politburo on Thursday in an event that will be keenly followed worldwide.

Xi is expected to take over as CPC general secretary from Hu Jintao; early next year, Xi is slated to become China’s President. Li is to succeed Premier Wen Jiabao. No announcements have ever been made officially, but Xi and Li were expected to take over the top posts after they were made Vice-President and Vice-Premier during the last Congress five years ago.

Economist for anti-graft unit
China appointed a respected economist to its anti-graft body as it sought to stress its resolve in fighting the rampant corruption identified as one of the biggest challenges for the Communist Party.

Wang Qishan, China’s top finance official, will join the party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the state-run Xinhua news agency said Wednesday, as the party’s five-yearly congress came to a close in Beijing.

The appointment means Wang looks poised to head up disciplinary issues as a member of China's top decision-making body, the Politburo Standing Committee. afp, beijing