China Specialist Correspondent
Benjamin's Feed
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.

Nov 5, 2012

China’s mission impossible: a date for Hu’s military handover

BEIJING (Reuters) – Outgoing Chinese president Hu Jintao is keeping the nation and the rest of the world guessing over whether he will seek to hang on as armed forces chief, sources said, highlighting a potentially serious weakness in Beijing’s succession planning.

The question of when Hu will hand over the reins as chairman of the Central Military Commission, the supreme decision-making body for the armed forces, is one of the biggest uncertainties surrounding China’s current transition to a new administration.

Nov 5, 2012

Analysis: China’s mission impossible – a date for Hu’s military handover

BEIJING (Reuters) – Outgoing Chinese president Hu Jintao is keeping the nation and the rest of the world guessing over whether he will seek to hang on as armed forces chief, sources said, highlighting a potentially serious weakness in Beijing’s succession planning.

The question of when Hu will hand over the reins as chairman of the Central Military Commission, the supreme decision-making body for the armed forces, is one of the biggest uncertainties surrounding China’s current transition to a new administration.

Nov 2, 2012

China to promote rising star in Bo Xilai’s old stomping ground: sources

BEIJING (Reuters) – China is set to promote two rising stars and possible future national leaders at a Communist Party congress opening next week, one taking the old job of disgraced former high-flyer Bo Xilai in the country’s biggest metropolis, sources said.

Southwestern Chongqing, left reeling in the wake of a corruption and murder scandal, is expected to go to Sun Zhengcai, a former agriculture minister and current party boss of the chilly northeastern province of Jilin.

Oct 26, 2012

Now military corruption scandal clouds China succession

BEIJING (Reuters) – A high-flying Chinese general’s chances of promotion during a leadership change have been undermined by helping to bring down a peer who will be court-martialed for corruption in the next few months, three independent sources said.

Hong Kong’s Beijing-backed Phoenix magazine said this month that the court-martial of Lieutenant-General Gu Junshan would become the biggest military corruption scandal since the Communists swept to power in 1949.

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.

    • 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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