On November 15, the seven men who will be the new rulers of China were announced in the Great Hall of People in Beijing. Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan and Zhang Gaoli will form the Politburo Standing Committee as chosen by the Communist Party after a week-long summit.
The Chinese government carefully guards details of any governmental transitions, and this new committee is no different. There is little public knowledge other than that many of the new members are the children of Communist Party elders and they are all believed to have slightly differing policies.
Xi Jinping will serve as new General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, replacing Hu Jintao, who served for eight years. During his opening remarks, Xi was noted to already be a more colorful and charismatic public speaker than his predecessor, spurring hopes that he might serve as more than just a Party mouthpiece. He cited government corruption, job creation, medical care, the environment, and education as his primary concerns.
This is only the second peaceful transfer of power in the history of the People’s Republic of China. The Community Party of China is known for its violent crackdowns on freedom of speech, the press, and assembly. It remains to be seen how China’s relations with the United States will change, if at all. However, Xi has suggested that he will tighten foreign policy amidst other economic reforms, which might spell poorly for the U.S. economy in the future. Only time will tell has Xi implements his strictures.