Xi solidified his power base with loyalists without signalling a successor. It’s looking increasingly like China and the rest of the world will be stuck with Xi Jinping beyond 2022.
As the BBC reports, China has revealed its new senior leadership committee, breaking with tradition by not including a clear successor to President Xi Jinping. The omission cements Mr Xi’s grip on China for the next five years and possibly beyond, a day after his name was written into the constitution.
Five new appointments were made to the seven-member Politburo Standing Committee, China’s most powerful body, while the absence of an heir raises questions over how long Mr Xi intends to rule… Apart from 64-year-old Mr Xi, premier Li Keqiang, 62, was the only committee member to retain his position. Chinese leaders have in recent decades hinted at one or more possible heirs to the Standing Committee at the beginning of their final term, indicating a clear line of succession. There had been speculation that Mr Xi would elevate his protg Chen Miner and Guangdong party secretary Hu Chunhua, both of whom are in their 50s – young enough to be credible successors. But the six dark-suited men who walked out on stage on Wednesday were all in their 60s and are all likely to retire at the end of this five-year term. The absence of any younger members will fuel speculation about Mr Xi’s long-term intentions and his eventual successor. There had been rumors that Mr Xi would reduce the size of the Standing Committee from seven to five, further tightening his control, but they proved unfounded.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 25, 2017.