THE 18TH CONGRESS OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF CHINA: INCONCLUSIVE RESULTS, URGENT TASKS, SHAKY COMPROMISES

Konstantin SYROEZHKIN


Konstantin Syroezhkin, D.Sc. (Political Science), Professor, Chief Scientific Associate of the Kazakhstan Institute of Strategic Studies under the President of Kazakhstan (Almaty, Kazakhstan)


ABSTRACT

The struggle at the very top of Chinas political establishment reached its peak on the eve of the 18th Communist Party Congress; this largely predetermined the balance of political forces in the upper echelons of the Communist Party and the decisions of its congress. The compromise about the top figures makes the partys political future very dim indeed. Although the retreating Hu-Wen Tandem managed to hold its ground, it is too early to say that the reformers have scored a final victory: in many respects the 18th Congress proved to be transitional.

The final balance of power will become clear in five years time after the next, 19th CPC Congress. It will probably clarify the course of the fifth generation of the countrys leaders. It seems that the next five years can be best described as time of compromises. One has to admit that the criticized Hu-Wen Tandem left the country in fairly good shape; it compiled a reasonable roadmap with no alternative on the horizon.

It remains to be seen whether the new party and country leaders will manage in the next five years to avert social upheavals and fulfill the tasks formulated by the 18th Congress while following the roadmap.

Keywords: China, Communist Party of China, 18th Congress, the State Council, Hu Jintao, Xi Jinping.

Introduction

The 18th Congress of the CPC convened on 8-14 November, 2012 in Beijing took place amid foreign policy and domestic complexities and contradictions. This probably explains why it was convened a month later than scheduled and why its results are best described as contradictory.

Under pressure of the Arab Spring, the Syrian crisis, and the changed rules of the game on the world arena, the CPC leaders had to revise certain aspects of their foreign policies: it seems that China will be more resolute while still relying on soft power.

The number of bureaucrats guilty of corruption is steadily growing. The Bo Xilai File has demonstrated that there is not only no agreement about the methods of governance at the very top, but also.


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