China Center Senior Fellow Cheng Li previews the 17th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party and how important the event is for choosing the next generation of China’s leaders. (See also Cheng Li’s update reviewing the progress of the Congress.)
“The Party Congress is important because every five years they have that meeting. In that meeting they will decide two things: one is to decide the policies for the next five years, both domestic and foreign policies. Secondly they’ll select leadership. This time two top leaders, President Hu Jintao and Premiere Wen Jinbao will stay on.
“Now, the most important thing, they will designate or try to designate successors. Because Hu Jintao will step down because of term limits he can only serve for two terms, each term five years. Now, he will stay on this time, but in five years the new leaders will take over. They should identify some of the rising stars. So that is the most important issue for the 17th Party Congress. These new leaders will lead China, the most populous nation for the next 10 to 15 years.”