After Hu, Who? Censored Names Could Be Clues

Based on names forbidden to bloggers, bets are on Xi Jinping
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 19, 2007 2:07 PM CDT
A live image of Chinese leader Hu Jintao is seen on a screen above delegates as he speaks at the opening of the 17th Communist Party Congress in Beijing's Great Hall of the People Monday Oct. 15, 2007....   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – In a 21st-century spin on Kremlinologists' dissection of May Day photos, the new makeup of the Chinese Communist Party's inner circle is under scrutiny—digitally. One of the  members to be announced Monday will almost certainly succeed Hu Jintao as president, and as always, the names are shrouded in secrecy. But the Times of London suggests they've already been revealed—through censored names on Chinese blogs.

It's long been impossible to blog about Hu or Premier Wen Jiabao, but in recent days two new names have been added to the blacklist: Xi Jinping, the Shanghai party boss, and Li Keqiang, chief of a Liaonang province. Based on seniority, it seems almost certain that Xi will be the hand-picked successor to Hu, who hands over power in 2012.