Changing of the Guard

Beijing Grooms Sixth-Generation Cadres for 2020s

This report details the major generational changes that will take place in the party and state leadership at the 18th Chinese Communist Party Congress, set for October 2012. While Fifth-Generation leaders such as Vice President Xi Jinping remain poised to accede to the position of general secretary and state president—and First Vice-Premier Li Keqiang will succeed Wen Jiabao as premier—General Secretary and President Hu Jintao has been personally overseeing the transition of power to Fifth- and Sixth-Generation cadres (a reference to officials born respectively in the 1950s and 1960s). The report examines elite Chinese politics, especially factional intrigue and the grooming of China's next leadership corps, in the runup to and after the 18th Party Congress.