China Specialist Correspondent
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Jan 10, 2013

China’s new leader – harbinger of reform or another conservative?

BEIJING (Reuters) – When Xi Jinping became the new leader of China’s Communist Party two months ago, hopes were high for reform in the giant nation. But despite what appears to be sensitive handling of a strike by journalists and a challenge to Beijing’s tight control of the press, signs of change seem tentative.

Xi’s commitment to reform, or lack of it, will come into sharper focus over the next few months, in particular after he officially assumes the presidency in March at a session of the National People’s Congress, the country’s rubber-stamp parliament.

Nov 25, 2012

China’s princelings come of age in new leadership

BEIJING, Nov 26 (Reuters) – In China they are known as
“princelings” – the privileged children of the revolutionary
founders of the People’s Republic of China. And in the
generational leadership change that just took place in Beijing,
it could not have been clearer that having the right family
bloodlines is among the most important attributes an ambitious
cadre could possess.

Of the seven men who now comprise the Communist Party’s new
politburo standing committee, the apex of political power in
China, four are members of “the red aristocracy”, led by the new
general secretary of the party, Xi Jinping.

Nov 21, 2012

EXCLUSIVE: China’s backroom powerbrokers block reform candidates – sources

BEIJING (Reuters) – Retired leaders in China’s Communist Party used a last-minute straw poll to block two pro-reform candidates from joining the policymaking standing committee, including one who had alienated party elders, sources with ties to the leadership said.

Two sources said the influential retirees flexed their muscles in landmark informal polls taken before last week’s 18th party congress, where the seven–member standing committee, the apex of China’s power structure, was unveiled.

Nov 21, 2012

Exclusive: China’s backroom powerbrokers block reform candidates – sources

BEIJING (Reuters) – Retired leaders in China’s Communist Party used a last-minute straw poll to block two pro-reform candidates from joining the policymaking standing committee, including one who had alienated party elders, sources with ties to the leadership said.

Two sources said the influential retirees flexed their muscles in landmark informal polls taken before last week’s 18th party congress, where the seven–member standing committee, the apex of China’s power structure, was unveiled.

Nov 16, 2012

China’s commerce minister voted out in rare congress snub: sources

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s commerce minister was surprisingly blocked from a spot on the ruling Communist Party’s elite body during a conclave this week, sources said, a rare snub for an official that could raise questions about trade policies during his tenure.

The failure of Chen Deming to secure a seat on the 25-member Politburo marks one of the few surprises to emerge from the party’s five-yearly congress that wrapped this week with the anointing of a new slate of top leaders who will run the world’s second largest economy.

Nov 15, 2012

China’s Politburo has more women, is younger – but barely

BEIJING, Nov 15 (Reuters) – China’s seven-man Politburo
Standing Committee, a group whose reformist credentials are few
and far between, was in the spotlight on Thursday as it paraded
before the world to cap a secretive Communist leadership
transition.

But the 18 other people who make up the Politburo -
including two who have exhibited relative openness to political
experimentation and two who were born in the 1960s – will be in
on all major policy decisions for the next five years.

Nov 10, 2012

China’s ex-president overshadows party congress, transition

HONG KONG/BEIJING (Reuters) – As China’s Communist Party opened its 18th Congress in Beijing, outgoing President and party chief Hu Jintao was the first senior leader to enter the Great Hall of the People, greeted by thunderous applause from over 2,000 delegates as he walked to his front-row seat.

Hu was followed closely by a man who hasn’t held a formal position of power in China for a decade.

Nov 6, 2012

Exclusive: China leaders consider internal democratic reform

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s outgoing leader and his likely successor are pushing the ruling Communist Party to adopt a more democratic process this month for choosing a new leadership, sources said, in an attempt to boost its flagging legitimacy in the eyes of the public.

The extent of the reform would be unprecedented in communist China where elections for the highest tiers of the party, held every five years, have been mainly exercises in rubber-stamping candidates already agreed upon by party power-brokers.

Nov 6, 2012

China Communists consider internal democratic reform – sources

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s outgoing leader and his likely successor are pushing the ruling Communist Party to adopt a more democratic process this month for choosing a new leadership, sources said, in an attempt to boost its flagging legitimacy in the eyes of the public.

The extent of the reform would be unprecedented in communist China where elections for the highest tiers of the party, held every five years, have been mainly exercises in rubber-stamping candidates already agreed upon by party power-brokers.

Nov 6, 2012

Exclusive: China Communists consider internal democratic reform – sources

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s outgoing leader and his likely successor are pushing the ruling Communist Party to adopt a more democratic process this month for choosing a new leadership, sources said, in an attempt to boost its flagging legitimacy in the eyes of the public.

The extent of the reform would be unprecedented in communist China where elections for the highest tiers of the party, held every five years, have been mainly exercises in rubber-stamping candidates already agreed upon by party power-brokers.

    • About Benjamin

      "Ben is based in Beijing and covers China regulatory news. He is an ethnic Chinese born and raised in the Philippines, and spent 13 years in Beijing and 15 years in Taipei. He joined Reuters in 1991, serving as Beijing bureau chief from August 2008 to August 2010 and Taipei bureau chief from February 2000 to December 2002."
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