This is a guest contribution for CNBC.com.
China's leaders are noted for their secrecy. The world last major state ruled by a Communist Party does not go in for the kind of public political contest now playing itself out in the United States ahead of the presidential election. But two days after American voters choose between Obama and Romney, the People's Republic will go through a major transition as a Communist Party Congress names the "Fifth Generation" of leaders to the helm of the world's second largest economy.
In keeping with the opacity that surrounds politics in China, little official information has been published about these leaders or how they got to the top, joining the Standing Committee of the Politburo which stands atop the country's governing structure. But by digging into their past, one can find out a certain amount. Here is a run-down of the main figures after the fall of Bo Xilai, the Party Secretary of the mega-municipality of Chongqing who has been expelled from the Party and awaits trial after pushing his ambitions too far.