China’s Political Transition Is Coming

BEIJING (AP) - China's once-a-decade political transition coming this fall seems devoid of drama on the surface: It's clear who will take over, and the fight for other top spots is invisible to the public. But beneath the veneer of calm, the Communist Party is struggling to contain troubling events and mask divisions.

The world's second-largest economy is experiencing an unexpectedly sharp slowdown. Violent demonstrations percolate as people tire of corruption, land grabs and policies seen as unfair. Tensions simmer with neighboring countries and the US over territorial disputes in the South China Sea. Then there's the unresolved scandal involving Bo Xilai, who was a well-connected contender for high office before he was ousted for still unexplained transgressions.

The communist grip on power isn't threatened and the lack of open elections means they require no voter approval. But the party risks eroded legitimacy and a reduced ability to impose its will, further alienating younger Chinese and encouraging critical opposition voices arguing for a democratic alternative.

As the party's unstated contract with the people exchanging one-party rule for economic growth frays, pressure for reform is likely to intensify.

``The economic downturn, human rights demands and political reform are major issues for the party,'' said Wu Si, editor-in-chief of the Beijing-based pro-reform journal Yanhuang Chunqiu. ``None of the leaders know what to do about it.''

Five years after he was picked as successor, Vice President Xi Jinping remains on track to take over from President Hu Jintao in the party's fall congress, where its leading members will install a new generation of leaders.

China is run by a collective leadership, and many of the other seats in the Politburo Standing Committee, decision-making's inner sanctum, are undecided, analysts and party insiders say.

Final decisions on the leadership lineup and key issues to be addressed at the congress should be hammered out in various sessions this summer, including informal meetings east of Beijing at the seaside Beidaihe resort.

None of the leading contenders; mostly proteges of Hu or other rival party elders, is trying to grab headlines.

Open politicking is strongly frowned upon, and while competition for posts and influence is intense, it takes place far from the public as the party seeks to display a united front, said Jiannan Zhu, a political scientist at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Mercy pleas for Indonesia death row inmates as families arrive
    Mercy pleas for Indonesia death row inmates as families arrive

    Families of foreign drug convicts set to be hauled before the firing squad in Indonesia issued desperate mercy pleas on Saturday, as France warned of "diplomatic consequences" if one of its nationals is executed. Consular officials and relatives were arriving at a town near Nusakambangan, the high-security prison island where Indonesian executions are carried out, and where all of the death row convicts are now congregated. The foreigners -- two from Australia, one each from Brazil, France …

  • United States seeks access to Philippine bases as part of Asia pivot
    United States seeks access to Philippine bases as part of Asia pivot

    The United States has asked for access to Philippine military bases in eight locations to rotate troops, aircraft, and ships as Washington shifts its forces to Asia and as China expands its military presence in the South China Sea. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, in a speech in Arizona, has outlined Washington's next phase in its Asia "pivot", deploying its most sophisticated destroyers, bombers and fighters to the region. The Asia "pivot" has already seen U.S. Marines rotating through the …

  • China's island-building to loom large at SE Asia summit
    China's island-building to loom large at SE Asia summit

    China's creation of new island footholds in contested seas will hover over a Southeast Asian summit that has become an annual test of the region's nerve in standing up to its massive neighbour. The South China Sea hot potato drops this year into Malaysia's lap as the rotating chair of the 10 member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and host of Monday's meeting. ASEAN states Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei claim parts of the strategic South China Sea, but Beijing …

  • Philippines, China trade accusations over sea threats

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines accused China of aggressive maneuvers against its reconnaissance plane and fishermen in disputed seas where Beijing has stepped up construction of artificial islands, but China reiterated its claim on the strategic waterways. …

  • Indonesia orders execution of Mary Jane, 9 others
    Indonesia orders execution of Mary Jane, 9 others

    Indonesia has ordered preparations for the execution of 10 drug convicts, including Filipina Mary Jane Veloso, as the Philippine government filed yesterday a second appeal for judicial review of the case to save the maid from death by firing squad. The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) of Indonesia released an official letter dated April 23, instructing prosecutors to prepare for the execution of 10 convicts, the Jakarta Post reported yesterday. The execution would be conducted after the …

  • Business groups back K to 12 program
    Business groups back K to 12 program

    The government’s K to 12 program adding two more years to basic education received support from various business groups yesterday. However, they urged relevant government agencies to deal with issues regarding the implementation of Republic Act 10533, the Enhanced Basic Education Act or K-12 Law. In a statement, business groups led by the Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) said RA 10533 is a milestone piece of legislation that intends to bring the Philippines up to par with the rest of …

  • Happiest nations: Phl ranks 90th
    Happiest nations: Phl ranks 90th

    Switzerland is the happiest country in the world, while the Philippines placed 90th, according to a global ranking of happiness unveiled in New York on Thursday. Switzerland was followed closely by Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Canada. The 2015 World Happiness Report is the third annual report seeking to quantify happiness as a means of influencing government policy. The United Nations published the first study in 2012. …

  • Asean leaders want binding sea code with China
    Asean leaders want binding sea code with China

    Southeast Asian leaders will seek to speed up plans for a binding code of conduct with China governing behavior in the disputed South China Sea at a summit next week, Malaysia’s foreign minister said Friday. Foreign Minister Anifah Aman said a massive flow of Muslim Rohingya refugees from Myanmar to neighboring countries will also be discussed at the two-day summit of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which starts Monday. Anifah said leaders are expected to raise concerns …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options