All eyes have been on Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping this week, as the heir apparent to Chinese President Hu Jintao continues his tour of the United States. But Xi will not be the only new face to emerge this fall, when the Chinese Communist Party will convene its 18th National Party Congress to announce a new generation of leaders in the top party and government positions.
The congress convenes every five years to announce changes in policy or to make changes in personnel. But this year, the political transition is particularly important, with more than half of the 25 most influential people in government retiring, and new leaders filling positions that include the president and prime minister.
“The U.S. should not just focus on Xi Jinping,” Thomas König, coordinator of the European Council on Foreign Relations’ China program, told Trend Lines. “The succession is a chance for the U.S. to completely revamp its China policy.”