China’s Future Discussed in Secret – Michael Bristow
The BBC reports on the CCP’s preparations for the fall’s 17th Party Congress and surmises possible discussions going on behind the scenes:
Leadership changes will not be quite as dramatic as they were at the last congress in 2002, when former President Jiang Zemin stepped down as the party’s general secretary, paving the way for Hu Jintao to take over as president the following year.
But China’s next president – Mr Hu is expected to retire in five years’ time – will probably emerge from the rising stars promoted this time round.
…At a recent keynote speech given at the party’s central school, he gave a sneak preview of the themes that will feature in his “political report” at this year’s congress.
In front of officials from across the country, Mr Hu said “social harmony” and building a “well-off society” are key goals.
…But whatever comes out of this year’s party congress, one thing is certain – the Chinese population will have little inkling about what is going on before the big event. [Full text]