Monday, September 21, 2009

Yet to be Crowned

Today marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China's top advisory body.
Yesterday they marked the occasion, with President Hu Jintao giving a speech to some 800 representatives from various fields.
The event followed the end of the tail end of the annual plenary session of the Chinese Communist Party's 17th Central Committee which was held over four days.
While most of the strategy session was meant to tackle the income gap between the rich and the poor, put more effort into dealing with corruption and creating more inner party democracy, most China watchers were waiting with baited breath to see if Vice President Xi Jinping would be appointed a military post to assure his ascendancy as president in 2012.
But this did not happen.
Analysts now think Xi's appointment of vice chairman of the Central Military Commission could happen later, perhaps after the National Day holiday.
That could make sense, considering Xi, who was responsible for the smooth running of the Beijing Olympics, and now the National Day festivities, that they want to see how well things go on October 1 before handing him the mantle.
The heavy-handed use of security measures in and around the city -- not just Tiananmen Square -- shows Xi is doing everything in his power to make sure nothing goes wrong before he inherits what he believes is rightfully his.
However, there are others who are also vying for the post -- Vice-Premier Li Keqiang who is backed by Hu, and Bo Xilai, currently the party boss in Chongqing who recently tried to break up some corruption rings there.
Both Bo and Xi are "princelings", whose fathers were heroes in teh 1949 revolution. Xi has the backing of former President Jiang Zemin, who seems to still hold power behind the scenes.
It'll be interesting to see what happens after October 1, when the rest and relaxation of the National Day holiday is over and the power brokering continues behind the scenes.

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