As the 17th Party Congress approaches, the New York Times reports that the battle for top honors in the Party is heating up:
Among the most significant questions that remain unanswered is whether Mr. Hu will succeed in forming a team that consists of people who owe their power mainly to him instead of to Mr. Jiang or other party elders.
The party elite also has failed to rally behind a younger leader to succeed Mr. Hu when his second term ends in 2012. If that does not change, Chinese politics could become more volatile in coming years, as interest groups form around rival contenders.
Horse trading ahead of the congress has colored almost everything Chinese leaders have done or said in recent weeks. [Full text]