Daily Archives: November 15, 2012

China’s new leadership
China has just completed its carefully-scripted, once-in-a-decade leadership transition. The Politburo was cut from nine to seven members and incoming general secretary and president Xi Jinping will also become head of the military. With these remaining uncertainties settled, Jamil Anderlini, Beijing bureau chief; James Blitz, diplomatic editor, and David Pilling, Asia editor, join John Aglionby to discuss how the new leadership will cope with an increasingly demanding population and whether the world will engage with Beijing any differently

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I mean that literally. Check out the picture of the incoming members of the politburo standing committee. Those ties! Those suits! That hair parting.

If, as my colleagues point out today, the reduction in membership of China’s ruling committee from nine to seven is “an effort to make collective decision-making less contentious and more efficient”, this gives new meaning to the idea of sartorial unity. They may not be wearing an official uniform, but the look is… well, uniform.

The only slight blip in the batter comes courtesy of Wang Qishan, the new anti-corruption chief (that’s him in the blue tie, bottom second from left). Draw whatever conclusions you want about his small effort to stand alone.

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- China has just completed its leadership transition and while the Communist party congress was carefully scripted, plenty of questions remain unanswered. The FT’s Beijing bureau chief Jamil Anderlini discusses the extent to which the party is in decline, while the FT’s Asia editor David Pilling sets some benchmarks for incoming leader Xi Jinping.

- Gershon Baskin, a mediator in the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit – who was held hostage by Hamas, writes that the Israeli offensive in Gaza was a mistakeRead more

By Chris Cook, education correspondent

Qatar has enormous oil and gas reserves, but the little state is trying to kick the petroleum habit and become a high-tech society. It wants a sustainable economy for when the oil runs out – and a more cultured society in the meantime.

The Qatar Foundation is the institution that is leading this drive: I am in the little Gulf state this week for WISE, their annual summit on education, where I was a speaker on the finance of education. The whole thing is rather spectacular.

When they say they are going to do something, they go big – sometimes to a rather baffling degree. One of my favourite examples of this is their super-duper equine health centre, which trains horse-handlers and apparently features a sauna for the horses. Read more

As the world watched with suspense to see who the next leaders of China would be, it was somehow fitting that the names of the new members of the Politburo Standing Committee – China’s top leadership team – were first announced not on TV, nor on a website, but on Twitter and its Chinese equivalent, Weibo.

China’s new leaders were expected to walk onstage at 11am on Thursday morning. But they were nearly an hour late, leaving online users of Twitter and Weibo, China’s largest microblogging platform, aflutter with speculation. Read more