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CP Congresses: From consensus to the era of Xi

A long time ago: Xi’s first day as party leader in 2012 – at the time he was considered a man with a limited power base

Ten years ago in November, seven men stepped before the journalists gathered in the Great Hall of the People: The new Standing Committee of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China, led by Xi Jinping – followed by the current Premier Li Keqiang and five other members. It was the end of the 18th CP Congress. For a decade, these men would form the highest circle of power, the expectation. After five years, a crown prince would move up to the committee in 2017, to succeed Xi in 2022. Xi, 59 at the time, was considered relatively inexperienced; his power base limited – especially because Li Keqiang was at his side, a protégé of Xi’s immediate predecessor Hu Jintao, who was considered comparatively reform-minded.

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