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RELEASE: China’s Leadership Question: Candidates and Future Challenges

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Contact: Christina DiPasquale
Phone: 202.481.8181

Read “China’s 2012 Party Leadership Transition: Key Faces to Watch
Read “China’s Real Leadership Question

Washington, D.C. – Top Chinese Communist Party leaders met this month in Beidaihe for negotiations over who will replace them when they retire later this fall and today the Center for American Progress released “China’s 2012 Party Leadership Transition: Key Faces to Watch,” and “China’s Real Leadership Question.”

In “China’s Real Leadership Question,” CAP Policy Analyst on China Energy and Climate Policy Melanie Hart finds that the Bo Xilai scandal has led many to question how much longer the Chinese Communist Party can maintain its grip on power, but corruption scandals and factional infighting are old problems with familiar solutions. Dr. Hart explains that real threats facing the party today are the new problems that do not yet have clear solutions, two of the biggest being economic rebalancing and figuring out how to satisfy China’s growing middle class.

For the United States, China’s neighbors in Asia, and the world at large, how China’s new leaders carry their country through perhaps wrenching social and economic changes in the coming years will help determine their own economic growth prospects.

The top two leadership positions were settled months ago, and are highly unlikely to change, but the rest of the Standing Committee is much less certain. This year, the ongoing scandal surrounding former Communist Party high-flier Bo Xilai—who ran one of China’s biggest municipalities in central China before a rapid downfall—is adding an additional element of uncertainty to the typically predictable Chinese political system and its appointments. “China’s 2012 Party Leadership Transition: Key Faces to Watch” elaborates on the 10 most likely candidates to fill the Standing Committee heading into the Chinese Communist Party’s leadership transition this fall with detailed information on their backgrounds, experience and factional ties.

Whether the Chinese leaders succeed or fail will also impact how China deals with the world around it and whether China will play a positive or negative role in global peace and cooperation. Understanding how this all plays out in China could not be more important for policymakers around the globe.

Read “China’s 2012 Party Leadership Transition: Key Faces to Watch
Read “China’s Real Leadership Question

To speak with CAP experts, please contact Christina DiPasquale at 202.481.8181 or


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