Politburo Standing Committee

The Politburo is China’s top leadership body. The seven- to nine-member Standing Committee of the Politburo came into being in 1956, seven years after the founding of the People’s Republic. Standing Committee members are picked in backroom negotiations among outgoing members and a few select party elders, former President Jiang Zemin being chief among them this time, says Robert Kuhn, author of How China’s Leaders Think. Here are the candidates.

The Contender
Li Keqiang, 57

Likely to be named to the premiership. Longtime member of the Communist Youth League and next-generation leader closest to outgoing president Hu Jintao. Speaks English.

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