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Hi Larry,

You are raising a question that has been discussed among political analysts -here in Asia- a lot: Is this truly the succession?
Hu Jintao was selected by Deng Xiaoping to succeed Jiang Zemin, so is this really a full succession? Eight of nine top-ranked leaders were turned over during the 16th congress party. So you can talk of an entire new generation! But we must remember the “elders phenomenon”, which has plagued the Chinese government for centuries.
In the past you could not always tell from looking at the organizational chart who made the decisions. In the 1980s after Deng Xiaoping and others resigned from official positions they still were a very powerful group. They were even known as the 8 immortals
The remained the most powerful group in China and it has been them who called in the troops at Tiananmen in 1989, not the elected leadership.

But we must be aware that times have changed too! For the first time in history the government is trying to represent the common needs of the Chinese people!
Bringing the entrepreneurs into the party marked this important milestone in history. Now we have to see if it is taken seriously. Traditionally Marxism always rejected a middle class society. But that is where China is headed.
Accountability is the buzzword. With the opening up of the party now units post their budgets openly: big cities on the Internet, little villages on a bulletin board.

So, is there an answer to your question? I would say not yet, time will tell.
Definitely we are seeing a transformation from a Marxist system into a purely Capitalistic one but right now we are only half way in what you might describe as a communistic Capitalism …….”I saw the CC somewhere before J)
To be continued.

And for all of you who do not have the slightest idea who we are talking about.
Here are the faces of the new leadership:
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