China 19th Party Congress leadership revealed

World Today

China has revealed the new CPC leadership, ending months of speculation about the names of the five new standing committee members. Now the focus turns to policy direction.

CGTN’s Cheng Lei filed this report from Beijing.

Their ages are similar, but they come from all different corners of China. Premier Li Keqiang will ensure continuity of policy and reforms.  The new leaders are taking over the reins of an economy that’s grown faster than even the party has expected. Han Jun, a member of the 19th National Congress Documents Drafting Team said, “We didn’t think China could grow so fast. For example, since the 18th party congress, our economy has gone from 54 trillion yuan to 80 trillion yuan, the world’s second largest, with a jump in production capacity and a large accumulation of wealth.”

How to keep corruption from chipping away at that wealth is why Zhao Leji, the youngest committee member, also gets the most attention. He will head up the Central Disciplinary Committee. Zhao’s career is highlighted by leadership at two western Chinese provinces taking local economies from lagging to more prosperous. Then there is Li Zhanshu, who has held positions in Hebei, as well as northeast China’s Heilongjiang province and southwest China’s Guizhou province. As director of the General Office of the Communist Party, he is seen as being active in facilitating China-Russia ties.

Wang Huning has spent the last 15 years as director of the Central Committee’s Policy Research Office. He is expected to provide ideological support for the party.

A familiar face for international investors is vice Premier Wang Yang. He has been party secretary of China’s biggest and most important regions — Guangdong and Chongqing. He has also headed the central leading group on poverty reduction, something at the core of Xi Jinping’s people-centered governance philosophy.

“We spoke to lots of China experts,” said Liz McLeod, producer of the documentary “China: Time of Xi.” “They say if you want to understand the core of General Secretary Xi’s governance philosophy for the past five years, it’s the idea of people’s livelihoods.”

Another official well-known to investors is Han Zheng He has spent his career in Shanghai, first managing a shoe factory, then leading the revitalization of Luwan district, before becoming the city’s mayor in 2003. With training as an economist, the hope is he will bring the ‘Shanghai Touch’ to growth policies in China’s new era.

Foreign investors will be looking for clarity on growth versus deleveraging. Jacob Parker, vice p
resident of the U.S.-China Business Council said, “Companies expectations are positive, there’s uncertainty about post-congress trajectory. Stimulus in last year in lead-up, whether China can balance risk of leveraging credit to stimulate economy, versus letting it slow, challenging, unclear what decision they’ll make.”

And now that the speculation has ended, that’s what the top leaders of the CPC will be getting down to doing – making decisions for a new era.