China unveils Politburo Standing Committee members minus Xi’s successor

By Lobsang Tenchoe

DHARAMSALA, Oct 25: China’s Communist Party (CCP) has unveiled its seven-member Politburo Standing Committee, the top leadership of the Communist Party of China, without naming a clear successor to XI Jinping.

The members of the Politubo Standing Committee are President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu, 67, Han Zheng, 63, Zhao Leji, 60, Wang Yang, 62 and Wang Huning, 62.

Apart from the President and Premier, the rest of the Politburo Standing Committee members are a promoted lot, replacing the five previous retiring members.

“Here, on behalf of the newly elected central leadership, I wish to express our heartfelt thanks to all other members of the party for the trust they have placed in us. We will work diligently to meet our duty, fulfill our mission and be worthy of their trust,” The Guardian quoted Xi as saying in his 21-minute address that marked the formal start of his second term.

Source: Getty Image
Source: Getty Image

The announcement of the Politburo Standing Committee, the top leadership of the members of the CCP, at the just concluded 19th Party Congress without a clear successor to the President, coupled with the elevation of Chinese President Xi Jinping to the same status as China’s founding father, Mao Zedong, by writing his name and ideas into the Communist Party’s constitution seem to signal his intent to stay at the helm of Chinese politics for decades to come and thereby,  making it unlikely for his rivals to challenge him and his power.

“The historic decision, at the end of a weeklong Party congress, sent a clear signal to officials throughout China that questioning Mr. Xi and his policies would be ideological heresy,” The New York Times Stated in its report.

Guangdong Party Secretary Hu Chunhua and Chongqing Party boss Chen Miner, who were earlier projected as possible candidates to succeed Xi, had to settle at a rung below the Standing Committee, the 25-member Politburo.