China’s New Leaders—the Lineup
A State Councillor, she is the only woman member of the wider Politburo. The daughter of a former minister, she is a "princess" but she has also known leading Shanghai figures since childhood and worked with Li Keqiang and Li Yuanchao in the management of the Youth League. Hu Jintao promoted her to head the United Front Work Department, responsible for dealing with organizations in Tibet, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau and overseas Chinese as well as non-CCP bodies on the Mainland. She now focuses on education and culture.
There is still uncertainty over whether the Standing Committee will retain its membership of nine or be cut to seven. However that turns out, the new leaders are likely to take a cautious path initially though they know the need for structural reform. Between slowing economic growth, social problems, an environmental crisis, a demographic shift as the population ages, not to mention rising regional tensions, the Fifth Generation has a task ahead of it every bit as daunting as that facing whoever wins the U.S. election.
Jonathan Fenby was the editor of the South China Morning Post from 1995-99 and is now China Director at the research service, Trusted Sources where he writes a China blog. He has just published an updated edition of his book on China Tiger Head Snake Tails which includes the latest developments in the country.