China officially wrapped up its 18th Congress yesterday.
But all eyes were on the make-up of the Politburo Standing Committee (PSC) – the all important decision making body that had been kept under wraps.
Earlier this year it was reported that the PSC would be reduced to seven members, down from nine in order to simplify the decision making process and to limit power given to certain departments.
After an hour-long delay Xinhua announced the seven leaders that will form the new PSC:
- Xi Jinping - Head of China's Communist Party and chairman of China's Central Military Commission
- Li Keqiang - Premier (in March)
- Zhang Dejiang - Head of National People's Congress
- Yu Zhengsheng - Head of Chinese People’s Consultative Conference
- Liu Yunshan - Head of Propaganda Department
- Wang Qishan - Secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection
- Zhang Gaoli - Executive Vice Premier
For investors that have been watching for these names, it is important to remember that the party's political path already seemed set based on Hu Jintao's speech during the opening ceremony of the 18th Congress.
Simon Rabinovitch of the Financial Times writes that Wang Qishan's appointment to the position of secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection is one of the most disappointing and worrisome developments:
"The biggest disappointment is the relegation of Wang Qishan, a strong voice for change, to the lowest-ranked position in the standing committee of the politburo, the seven-person team that forms the core of China’s leadership.
Many had hoped that Mr Wang, previously a vice premier responsible for economic and financial affairs, would be given even more authority over the economy. Instead, he will head a discipline inspection body that conducts corruption investigations."
He is also extremely worried about the appointment of Zhang to the role of executive vice premier since he drove growth as party secretary of Tianjin by taking on vast amounts of debt and helping create ghost towns and birdge s to nowhere.
The party has yet to unveil its 25-member Politburo and the 12-member Central Military Commission.
More to come...
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