With China's once-a-decade leadership transition coming this fall, the country's powerbrokers are now in the thick of furious and extremely hush-hush negotiations over who will guide the world's most populous country for the next decade. And in the brutal heat and pollution of the Beijing summer, China's most important politicians head to the beach—specifically, the resort town of Beidaihe, "a Chinese combination of the Jersey Shore and Martha’s Vineyard" that lies 180 miles east of the capital, reports the New York Times.
President Hu Jintao tried cracking down on the Beidaihe gatherings when he took power in 2002, but many in the party bucked hard and today the resort town is as important as ever. And in the face of a worsening economic slowdown and the fallout of the Bo Xilai scandal, the struggle for power is growing fiercer, notes the AP. But with expensive private villas and swimming spots for rich party leaders dominating this beach town, many party elders are unhappy with the rising generation of leaders. "What are they good for?" asked one retired official. "What did they inherit from their fathers? They should have inherited the solidarity of the revolution."