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Could Democracy Come to China?

By November 8, 2012

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As China's e 18th Party Congress gathers in Beijing Thursday to decide China's next leaders, some on the inside speculate that elections to the 24-member Politburo could be done in a democratic way, according to Reuters.

While it's been knoen for a while that Xi Jinping will take over for President Hu Jintao, it is not entirely clear who will be elected to the Politburo and the Politburo Standing Committee though the party's propaganda chief Liu Yunshan and a deputy vice president Li Keqiang are frontrunners with Li expected to be Xi's deputy.

Power in China is based on a pyramid scheme with supreme power at the top. The Standing Committee of the Politburo holds supreme power. The Committee is responsible for maintaining the Party's control of the state and military. Its members achieve this by holding the highest positions in the State Council, which oversees the government, the National People's Congress- China's rubber-stamp legislature, and the Central Military Commission, which runs the armed forces.

If the new demoncratic scheme is accepted, it would mean there would be more candidates than positions available with the 200 members of the Standing Committee voted on by the 2,000 Party Congress delegates who are gathered in Beijing this week for the once-a-decade changeover of power.

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