China Specialist Correspondent
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Oct 24, 2012

China propaganda post likely to go to a conservative Hu loyalist

BEIJING, Oct 24 (Reuters) – A loyal ally of Chinese
President Hu Jintao is the front-runner to become propaganda
minister during a once-in-a-decade generational leadership
change, two sources said, but while media-savvy he is unlikely
to drastically loosen tight controls.

Liu Qibao is tipped to be appointed to the post during the
Communist Party’s 18th congress, which opens on Nov. 8, at which
the party will anoint Xi Jinping as the country’s fifth
generation leader after Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin
and Hu Jintao.

Oct 23, 2012

China reshuffles top military ranks ahead of leadership change

BEIJING (Reuters) – China reshuffled its top military ranks on Tuesday, weeks before a once-in-a-decade generational leadership change which sources said would see the outgoing air force commander promoted to vice-chairman of the military’s top decision-making body.

General Ma Xiaotian, 63, was named air force commander, replacing General Xu Qiliang, 50, state broadcaster CCTV said.

Oct 19, 2012

China power brokers agree preferred leadership team: sources

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s three most powerful men have come up with preferred candidates to head up the nation’s incoming new leadership team, sources said, in a ticket that includes financial reformers but leaves a question mark over its commitment to political reform.

The seven-member list has been drawn up by past, present and future presidents ahead of a once-in-a-decade leadership change to be finalised next month at the ruling Communist Party’s 18th congress, said three sources with ties to senior party leaders.

Oct 19, 2012

Exclusive: China power brokers agree preferred leadership team – sources

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s three most powerful men have come up with preferred candidates to head up the nation’s incoming new leadership team, sources said, in a ticket that includes financial reformers but leaves a question mark over its commitment to political reform.

The seven-member list has been drawn up by past, present and future presidents ahead of a once-in-a-decade leadership change to be finalized next month at the ruling Communist Party’s 18th congress, said three sources with ties to senior party leaders.

Oct 3, 2012

Distracted and maybe tougher China defers North Korean leader’s trip: sources

BEIJING (Reuters) – China quietly deferred a request by North Korea for its young leader to visit last month because the Chinese leadership was preoccupied with its once-in-a-decade leadership change and a host of other distractions, two independent sources said.

The move also suggests that China, North Korea’s main food and oil supplier, may be seeking an assurance from the isolated state that it drops its nuclear ambitions, one source said, after it ignored warnings from Beijing not to go ahead with a rocket launch in April.

Oct 3, 2012

Distracted and maybe tougher China defers N.Korean leader’s trip-sources

BEIJING, Oct 3 (Reuters) – China quietly deferred a request
by North Korea for its young leader to visit last month because
the Chinese leadership was preoccupied with its once-in-a-decade
leadership change and a host of other distractions, two
independent sources said.

The move also suggests that China, North Korea’s main food
and oil supplier, may be seeking an assurance from the isolated
state that it drops its nuclear ambitions, one source said,
after it ignored warnings from Beijing not to go ahead with a
rocket launch in April.

Sep 30, 2012

North Korean leader seeks trip to China for economic help

BEIJING (Reuters) – North Korea’s young leader wants a state visit to China in the latest move in his push to lift the isolated state out of decades of poverty, but risks further fraying ties with his only powerful ally by sticking to the threat of a new nuclear test. It is not clear whether China will be prepared to host him, as requested, in September when Beijing will be preoccupied with its own leadership change.

The leadership may also have its doubts about the unproven Kim Jong-un, who after only four months in office, defied his giant neighbor by conducting a long-range rocket test. A source with ties to both Pyongyang and Beijing told Reuters on Friday that Kim’s uncle, Jang Song-thaek, effectively the second most powerful figure in Pyongyang, had asked for the visit when he met Chinese leaders on a visit to Beijing last week. “It will be a state visit.

Sep 30, 2012

Kim plans economic change in North Korea

BEIJING (Reuters) Impoverished North Korea is gearing up to experiment with agricultural and economic reforms after young leader Kim Jong-un and his powerful uncle purged the country’s top general for opposing change, a source with ties to both Pyongyang and Beijing said.

The source added that the cabinet had created a special bureau to take control of the decaying economy from the military, one of the world’s largest, which under Kim’s father was given pride of place in running the country.

Sep 30, 2012

North Korea’s nuclear test ready “soon”

BEIJING (Reuters) – North Korea has almost completed preparations for a third nuclear test, a senior source with close ties to Pyongyang and Beijing told Reuters, which will draw further international condemnation following a failed rocket launch if it goes ahead.

The isolated and impoverished state sacrificed the chance of closer ties with the United States when it launched the long-range rocket on April 13 and was censured by the U.N. Security Council, including the North’s sole major ally, China.

Sep 30, 2012

North Korea’s military to share power with Kim’s heir

BEIJING (Reuters) – North Korea will shift to collective rule from a strongman dictatorship after last week’s death of Kim Jong-il, although his untested young son will be at the head of the ruling coterie, a source with close ties to Pyongyang and Beijing said.

The source added that the military, which is trying to develop a nuclear arsenal, has pledged allegiance to the untested Kim Jong-un, who takes over the family dynasty that has ruled North Korea since it was founded after World War Two.

    • 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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