All the Emperor’s Men: How Xi Jinping Became China’s Unrivalled Leader — and How he Plans to Expand His Power Base (Financial Times)

  • For more than a decade, Xi has exploited the idiosyncratic rules and implicit conventions within the Chinese Communist party with ruthless efficiency.
  • The highest-level political body is the standing committee. It is currently composed of seven members, but had nine as recently as 2007.Beneath the standing committee is the 25-member politburo, the stepping stone to the top positions in the party.Below that is the central committee of around 205 cadres composed of government ministers, provincial leaders, military officers and top regulators.The selection process for China’s top leaders is opaque, with positions determined only after brokering behind closed doors and negotiations between incumbent and past members of the politburo.For decades after Deng Xiaoping’s reforms in the 1990s, the leaders followed unwritten rules, such as ensuring a balance of ages and political factions across the highest echelons of the party and ceding their posts at the end of two five-year terms. This system had ensured peaceful transitions of power after 30 years of increasingly chaotic rule under Mao. READ MORE (Google Cache)

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