China’s Two Li’s: Frontrunners in the Race to Succeed Hu Jintao

Cheng Li

Of all the issues surrounding China’s upcoming 17th Party Congress, probably the most intriguing one centers on the selection of a candidate or candidates to succeed Hu Jintao. The question on everyone’s mind is: “After Hu, Who?” Other personnel and ideological matters, though also important, may not rate very highly in the news. No analyst seems to have any doubts that Hu Jintao will be easily “reelected” for his second term as the secretarygeneral of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The all-powerful Standing Committee of the new Politburo will consist largely of leaders in their 60s, most of whom will be holdovers from the current Politburo. On the ideological and policy fronts, the Party platform is expected to reinforce Hu’s vision for “building a harmonious society” based on the muchtouted “scientific development concept.”