BEIJING —China has moved another step closer to changing management at the top after a decade with the same president, but any major shift in government policies are not likely to emerge in the near term.
On Wednesday, the 18th Chinese Communist Party Congress, an assembly of more than 2,220 carefully selected delegates from around the country, closed out its weeklong meeting in Beijing. The congress, in what was described as a secret ballot, chose a new Central Committee, the group that will then select the Politburo Standing Committee, the core unit of 7-9 members charged with final decision-making powers for China.
That core group will be revealed on Thursday in a staged meeting with the press, where organizers say 200 journalists from among more than 1,500 covering the congress have been hand-picked to see the unveiling. Although China's leadership transfer is nearly absent of real voting or public debate on issues and candidates, the final roster is still a secret. The only near-certainties are that Vice Premier Xi Jinping will replace current President Hu Jintao as party general secretary, while Li Keqiang, another vice premier, will take over as premier from Wen Jiabao. The final handover will happen in March at the National People's Congress.
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