Monday, October 22, 2007

China - Poliburo reshuffle but Hu's still on top

The 17th CPC National Congress has ended with the appointment of 4 new members to the Politburo Standing Committee [BBC]. The politburo stands at the centre of the power base of the Chinese Government [BBC].

The new members are Xi Jingping, Li Keqiang, He Guoqiang, Zhou Yongkang [BBC]. Mr Xi and Mr Li are seen as possible contenders for the top post of President in 5 years time. Hu Jintao in the meantime has secured his role as President.

CCTV had the most extensive coverage of the CPC National Congress throughout the week. But there have been sporadic reports on Sky News, the BBC, CNN and on Channel Four which had a special report highlighting how poorer residents are being displaced to make way for new construction projects. Few get adequate compensation, and those that petition the government are often jailed, tortured and intimidated by developers and their henchmen.

Sky News described the members of the politburo as “middle aged with dyed hair” in its lunchtime report. The new postings would “mean nothing” to most Chinese, Sky News reported, “as long as they can continue to make money”. Citing the fact that the gap between rich and poor was widening, the reporter acknowledged that President Hu had vowed to tackle these problems along with the environmental damage the country faced. But the report ended on a low note; “Expect more of the same in the next five years”.

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