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'Shadow of ultra-conservative ex-leader Jiang Zemin looms large over new Chinese leadership'

Washington, Fri, 16 Nov 2012 ANI

Washington, Nov. 16 (ANI): Shadow of Jiang Zemin looms over new politicians elected in the Politburo Standing Committee (PSC) with most them having ties with the formal Chinese leader, an expert has said.

Cheng Li of the Brookings Institution says that the new lineup of politicians in the PSC won't go down well with the Chinese people, who were looking for signs of political reform.

The number of seats on the PSC shrank from nine members to seven and included the names at the top of many speculative lists: Xi Jinping (President), Li Keqiang (Premier), Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengshen, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan and Zhang Gaoli.

"Of these seven people, it's really five-versus-two or maybe even six-versus-one because only two people are Tuanpai," Li Told CNN.

According to the report, Tuanpai are Party members who rose through the ranks of the Communist Youth League and typically have ties to outgoing president Hu Jintao.

"You can imagine the Chinese public may start to express some dissatisfaction with the dominance of princelings (sons of revolutionary leaders), with the elder and retired top leader Jiang Zemin's interference in the process of succession," Li said.

"One of the Tuanpai members, Liu Yunshan, is actually very close to Jiang Zemin. So this lack of balance will potentially be a serious problem in the months or years to come," he added.

On an immediate reaction to the lineup, Li said, it was a 'disappointment'.

"First, apparently there was no intra-party multiple-candidate election for the Politburo and its standing committee. They were still selected through the old way of "dark-box" manipulation by departing Politburo Standing Committee members. Also, it's dominated by Jiang Zemin's proteges, especially the so-called princelings," he said. (ANI)

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