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China revealed its new leader on Thursday, when Xi Jinping gained control of the Communist party as well as the military for the next decade. He gave a speech and hired a staff that signals no change whatsoever in the course the country will be taking for the next decade.
The country’s political elite named Xi to the top party post on Thursday, after a weeklong party congress and months of divisive bargaining.
The public finally saw its new leadership for the first time as the men walked down the red-carpeted platform in front of the general public at the Great Hall of the People.
“Our responsibility now is to rally and lead the entire party and the people of all ethnic groups in China in taking over the historic baton and in making continued efforts to achieve the great renewal of the Chinese nation,” said Xi.
Xi Jinping assumes the leadership of China at a time when the ruling Communist Party is confronting several problems including a slower rate of economic growth, a strong resistance to political corruption and large demands for change.
Xi knows the problems well and he made it a point to give praise to China in an attempt to boost the morale of the party.
The appointments give Xi great authority, but almost no room for error. After several years of growth, China is the second largest economy, but it has lingering domestic troubles that are limiting its rise internally.
“China has wasted some time and opportunities partly because its growth over the last 10 years was so spectacular. Now it no longer has that luxury.” said Wang Feng, director of the Brookings-Tsinghua Center for Public Policy and an expert on China’s demographics.