China’s “worst leader since 1949” Hu Jintao, has stepped down as General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in his final speech to the 18th Party Congress.
In his final speech, Hu declared a “victorious conclusion” to the Party Congress and led delegates in a rendition of the Internationale.
It was also revealed that Wang Qishan, the CPC’s “troubleshooter” has been appointed to head the Party’s internal discipline commission.
After the global financial crisis, Mr Wang was credited with helping to draft the plan that kept the Chinese economy on track.
Some hoped he would be put in charge of reforming the Chinese economy, but his likely role at the top of the Party’s anti-corruption body could be an indication that the fight against graft will be intensified in the years ahead.
Reuters reports that many people are disappointed that Wang will not be in charge of economic matters:
“The bad news is that we are going to lose one of the most capable economic affairs managers in the country,” said Bo Zhiyue, a Chinese politics expert at the National University of Singapore.
A former head of China Construction Bank, Wang is an experienced negotiator who has led finance and trade negotiations as well as the Strategic and Economic Dialogue with the United States, and is a favorite of foreign investors.
The new Politburo Standing Committee will be announced tomorrow. While the line-up has yet to be revealed, the 10 most senior politburo members elected to the Party’s Central Committee give a strong indication as to the Standing Committee’s eventual make-up.