That Chinese kind of full and frank disclosure requires a special kind of political tea leaf reader to guess at what is actually going on. Here's an extract of the view of Cheng Li, Director of Research at the Brookings Institution's John L. Thornton China Center:
Of all the concerns about the forthcoming political succession in China, none may ultimately prove as important as whether or not the factional balance of power will be maintained. China is now confronting widespread social unrest, slowing economic growth, increasing divisions within domestic public opinion on the issue of the country's political trajectory and rampant official corruption as revealed by the Bo Xilai scandal. Any further signs of elite disunity or upsets in the factional balance of power within the top leadership could be overwhelmingly detrimental in terms of the continued rule of the Communist Party. That is why the composition of the new Politburo Standing Committee (PSC), the supreme decision-making body in China, is critically important. What will be the status of the competing factions in that committee? Will the existing system of collective leadership in China continue -- or is it headed towards failure? China is a one-party state in which the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) monopolises power. The party leadership, however, is not a monolithic group. Its members do not all share the same ideology, political association, socio-economic background, or policy preferences. In fact, two main political factions or coalitions within the CCP leadership are currently competing for power, influence and control over policy initiatives. This bifurcation has created within China's one-party polity something approximating a mechanism of checks and balances in the decision-making process.News and views noted along the way.
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