China on Wednesday named the seven members of its Standing Committee – the country’s most powerful body – headed by President Xi Jinping, Xinhua reported. Xi and his premier Li Keqiang were the only ones to retain their spots in the committee. Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Wang Huning, Zhao Leji and Han Zheng were promoted, replacing five retiring members, Reuters reported.
China also broke its tradition by not naming a clear successor to Xi, which only further strengthened the president’s grip on the country over the next five years. On Tuesday, the Communist Party had amended the Chinese Constitution to write Xi’s name into it, making him the country’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping.
All seven men in the Standing Committee are in their 60s, and for the first time, the panel does not have a single member born before the 1949 Communist revolution.
The appointments to the Standing Committee and the 25-member Politburo are made at the end of the closed-door Communist Party Congress that takes place once in five years. At the conference, attended by over 2,350 delegates at the Great Hall of the People, leaders decide who will rule China and come up with a plan for the country for the next term.
According to a BBC report, many international news organisations were denied access to the announcement.