The Straits Times
Published on Nov 18, 2012

China 2022 leadership clues already on show


BEIJING (AFP) - Even as Mr Xi Jinping was unveiled as China's new leader, clues on who will take over from him a decade down the line in the long-planned Communist succession system were already being revealed.

Analysts say the front runners for 2022 are Mr Hu Chunhua, a literature graduate who cracked down on protestors in Tibet, and Mr Sun Zhengcai, who spent time as an agricultural researcher in the British countryside.

The two men, both 49, were named to the all-powerful 25-strong Politburo, the nation's second most powerful committee, after last week's pivotal Communist Party congress.

Many believe they are now headed for the inner circle of Chinese politics, the seven-member Politburo Standing Committee which Mr Xi is expected to lead for the next decade.