Xi is China’s new leader

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BEIJING – Pledging to carry on with the reforms process, Xi Jinping was Thursday anointed the new leader of China in a once in a decade leadership change that also saw a new seven-member committee to govern one of the biggest economies of the world.

Xi, 59, was elected the powerful general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and he in turn introduced here the new all-powerful seven-member Standing Committee of the new Political Bureau. 

The new leader, who will step into President Hu Jintao’s shoes, sought to end corruption and bureaucratism and pledged to carry on with reforms.

Xi led the other newly-elected members to meet the press at the cavernous Great Hall of the People, signalling his elevation to the top of China’s ruling party. 

“I was elected general secretary of the Party Central Committee by the plenary session. Now, I wish to introduce to you the other six newly elected members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau,” Xinhua quoted him as saying. 

“They are: Li Keqiang, Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan, and Zhang Gaoli. Li Keqiang was a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the 17th Party Central Committee, and all the others were members of the Political Bureau of the 17th Party Central Committee,” Xi said. 

Li is slated to be the next premier, to succeed Wen Jiabao. Two women, Liu Yandong and Sun Chunlan, are among the Political Bureau members.

Xi pledged to “carry out reform and opening up” of the economy.

“We will rally and lead the whole party and the people of all ethnic groups in China in making continued efforts to free up our minds, carry out reform and opening up,” he said.

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