China’s Xi Unexpectedly Not Named to Party Military Commission

In a surprise move, the CCP Central Committee did not name Vice President Xi Jinping to the post of Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission during this week’s Party plenum, Bloomberg reports:

Xi, 56, was expected by many China watchers to be appointed a vice chairman of the commission, which controls China’s 2.3 million-strong armed forces, at a meeting, or plenum, of the party’s Central Committee in Beijing which ended yesterday without any such announcement. His ascension to the post was seen as helping cement his status as the heir apparent to Hu. Ten years ago, Hu, then vice president, was named a commission vice chairman at a similar party meeting.

Xi may still be named to the post in coming days or weeks or at a party meeting next year. Should he fail to be appointed, it may be a signal that Hu wants to hold on to his role as the commission’s chairman beyond 2013, delaying Xi’s full assumption of power, said Victor Shih, a professor at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois who studies elite Chinese politics.

“If Xi indeed did not gain ascension into the CMC, it is indeed surprising,” Shih said. “My take is that Hu wants to delay Xi’s ascension into the CMC so that he himself can serve another full term as chairman of the CMC before fully retiring at the 19th Party Congress” in 2017.

See also a report from AP.

September 18, 2009 8:47 PM
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Categories: Politics