China kicks off once-in-a-decade power transfer
Beijing: China`s new advisory legislative body began its annual session on Sunday commencing the once-in-a-decade power transfer to a new leadership headed by Xi Jinping from the outgoing government led by Hu Jintao.
The 2,200-member Chinese People`s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) comprising, perhaps for the first time with majority of non-ruling Communist Party members, began its annual session kicking off China`s yearly political event during which its legislators meet.
The CPPCC, an advisory body unlike the National People`s Congress (NPC), has in its ranks top film stars and literary personalities like Jackie Chan and last year`s winner of Nobel Prize for literature Mo Yan besides top sportsmen and religious personalities.
Outgoing President Hu followed by the newly-elected Communist Party leader Xi Jinping along with a mix of old and new leaders took the podium of the CPPCC inaugural session telecast live from the Great Hall of the People.
Xi, 59, who took over as the Party and Military Chief would be formally nominated as President when NPC begins its session on March 5 marking the end of the era of Hu and Premier Wen Jiabao who steered the country for a decade during which China emerged as the second largest economy after the United States.
While the power transfer which began with the election of Xi as Party leader last November went on smoothly so far, the next week was regarded crucial as all top government appointments including the new cabinet would be announced.
While Xi`s deputy, Li Keqiang was tipped to take over as the new Premier, the present Foreign Minister Yang Jeichi is speculated to take over as the State Councillor succeeding Dai Bingguo, the top Chinese diplomat who acted as China`s chief negotiator for India, US, Korea and Russia.
The new regime is eagerly awaited as the Chinese government has been virtually paralysed for the past four months due to impending political changes.
After taking over power, the new leadership would decide the fate of disgraced party leader Bo Xilai who is in custody facing a host of charges including sex, sleaze and corruption.
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