Meet China's New Leader: Xi Jinping

Beijing completes once-a-decade transition

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 15, 2012 7:27 AM CST

(Newser) – China's once-per-decade leadership transition is complete: Former Vice President Xi Jinping was presented to the country today as general secretary of the Communist Party, replacing Hu Jintao. He also takes over as head of the military commission. Xi's ascent has been expected since he joined the country's Standing Committee five years ago, the AP notes. Xi and his six fellow leaders were the focus of a transitional ceremony today. "We shall do everything we can to live up to your trust and fulfill our mission," Xi said, noting "many pressing problems within the party that need to be resolved, particularly corruption."

The country's "princelings," who see themselves, by way of their parents, as heirs to the country's 1949 revolution, have now completed their rise to power, the New York Times reports. There are no surprises among the new Standing Committee members, notes the BBC. But the leadership's makeup demonstrates the continuing sway of former leader Jiang Zemin; while several of the men are Jiang allies, none of Hu's three allies are on the committee. Now it's up to Xi to lead a country on the rise as it addresses internal scandals and bids for reform. (The Guardian takes a look at how Xi differs from the "determinedly anonymous" Hu, calling the new leader a 6-foot-tall "big personality," who is married to a glamorous singer, likes US war movies, and has a daughter at Harvard.)

A mall screen shows the Chinese Communist Party's new general secretary Xi Jinping speaking at a press conference in Beijing Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012.
A mall screen shows the Chinese Communist Party's new general secretary Xi Jinping speaking at a press conference in Beijing Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012.   (Lee Jin-man)
Xi Jinping's press conference is telecast live on a mall screen, center, in Beijing, China, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012.
Xi Jinping's press conference is telecast live on a mall screen, center, in Beijing, China, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012.   (AP Photo/ Lee Jin-man)
From left, members of the new Politburo Standing Committee Zhang Gaoli, Liu Yunshan, Zhang Dejiang, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Yu Zhengsheng, and Wang Qishan meet journalists in Beijing.
From left, members of the new Politburo Standing Committee Zhang Gaoli, Liu Yunshan, Zhang Dejiang, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Yu Zhengsheng, and Wang Qishan meet journalists in Beijing.   (AP Photo/ Vincent Yu)
From left, members of the new Politburo Standing Committee Zhang Dejiang, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang meet journalists in Beijing's Great Hall of the People Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012.
From left, members of the new Politburo Standing Committee Zhang Dejiang, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang meet journalists in Beijing's Great Hall of the People Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012.   (AP Photo/ Vincent Yu)
New Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping waves in Beijing's Great Hall of the People Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012.
New Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping waves in Beijing's Great Hall of the People Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012.   (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
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