China’s Communist Party has chosen the line-up to lead the country for the next decade.
Xi Jinping was named as the party’s General Secretary, and the man who will take over as president in March.
He’s heading an older and more conservative leadership. Six other men made up the new, slimmed down, Standing Committee.
“Our party faces many severe challenges that need to be resolved,” Xi said. “Members taking bribes, being out of touch with the people, undue emphasis on formality and bureaucracy are all things that must be addressed with great effort. The whole party must be vigilant.”
He also has to nurture the world’s second largest economy whose growth — though spectacular by western standards — is faltering.
“I think the gap between the rich and the poor in China is too big. The life of people living in remote areas is very poor. I hope these areas can be developed,” said one 26 year old bank worker in Beijing who did not want to be identified.
Qian Wenlei, 70, said: “The next 10 years is the most important period for China. The next decade carries the hope of developing the country to a higher level in terms of economic growth and clean government. I am quite looking forward to it and I am confident.”
The run-up to the handover of power was overshadowed by the biggest scandal in the party for decades, with the former high-flyer Bo Xilai sacked and his wife convicted of murdering a British businessman.