Xi today secured the Communist Party’s top spot as general secretary and consolidated his power base by also being appointed head of the commission that oversees the military (PLA).
Xi’s elevation to the two top Chinese roles – without having to wait two years for outgoing President Hu Jintao to surrender military oversight – is a huge win for the Shanghai faction led by former President Jiang Zemin.
Hu takes control at time when China faces slower economic growth and rising public demands for change to deal with corruption and unrest over mounting inequality. His elevation follows a pivotal party congress that underlined the communists’ determination to remain firmly in power.
Xi is the son of a party elder – or immortal – and served as vice president for the past five years. He previously headed Shanghai as party boss and was provincial governor of Zheijiang.