China's Communists Revamp Politburo
China has placed its bets on two up-and-coming young political stars to lead the country into its next stage of development. In doing so, it is looking beyond the current leadership under President Hu Jintao to its first political realignment under a collective leadership system.
The selections serve as a vivid display of how China is managing its succession problem through a new collective leadership, under which different factions actively engage in political compromises and trade-offs to reach a consensus.
The two new stars, Xi and Li, are emblematic of China’s two most influential tendencies. Based on the current rankings, Xi is being groomed for the top job, succeeding President Hu, while Li is being prepped for the premiership. But the succession plan will naturally depend on the outcome of ongoing bargaining at the top and the general political and economic situation in China over the next five years.