China announced its new leadership lineup on Wednesday with President Xi Jinping still at the helm of the Chinese Communist Party. Although it's a team in name, the Chinese president is now more powerful than he's ever been — especially as there's no clear successor to Xi in the new lineup.
In the wake of the last week's Communist Party congress, Xi now stands as China's most powerful leader in years. And he's expected to use that authority to steer the country into a position of global leadership on its own terms.
"As the world's largest political party, the [Communist Party of China] must behave in a way commensurate with this status," Xi said through a translator on Wednesday after the new leadership was announced.
Even though Xi is holding an ever firmer grip on power, the make-up of the new Politburo Standing Committee is important as there is an official ranking in the system. So where each leader stands will signal his position and influence. The number of allies Xi managed to install in the committee is also a measure of his influence.
The new committee officially met for the first time earlier Wednesday, and the unveiling of the new seven-man Politburo Standing Committee saw Xi retaining his position alongside Premier Li Keqiang. Five new members were voted into the seven-man Standing Committee.
The other five members in the top leadership ranks include Shanghai party chief Han Zheng and excluded touted Xi protege Chen Miner.