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Chinese Communist Party sees "new faces" in top leadership

 

  By Xinhua writer Cheng Yunjie

    BEIJING, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- The top leadership line-up of the Communist Party of China (CPC) made a group debut on October 22 morning upon their election at the first plenum of the 17th CPC Central Committee, with Hu Jintao reelected as Party chief for a second term.

    New faces in the pinnacle Political Bureau Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee are Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, He Guoqiang and Zhou Yongkang. They joined the nine-member echelon with the five remaining members of the previous standing committee, namely Hu Jintao, Wu Bangguo, Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin and Li Changchun.

    Other newcomers in the 25-member Political Bureau are Wang Gang,Wang Qishan, Liu Yandong, Li Yuanchao, Wang Yang, Zhang Gaoli, Xu Caihou and Bo Xilai.

    Six of the newly elected political bureau members and the CPC Central Committee Secretariat were born in the 1950s. They spent their formative years in a peaceful but transformative China.

    They outlived the severest natural disasters in modern China that lasted from 1959 to 1961, witnessed in their childhood the frenetic development drive of Great Leap Forward (1958-1961), and grew up in the Cultural Revolution which threw China into a decade-long turmoil ending 1976.

    With bachelor's degrees or even doctorates, they rose from the grass-roots, acquainted themselves with the lives of the people and stood out with expertise in economy, business management and social sciences.

    "With these people joining in, the central collective leadership of the Party has gained more vigor and vitality," said professor Liu Chun, deputy dean of the Graduate Institute of the Party School of the CPC Central Committee.

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    Xi Jinping, 54, was trained as a chemical engineer at the prestigious Qinghua University and much later got doctorate in law.

    Earlier this year, Xi was appointed Party chief of China's commercial and financial hub Shanghai and has brought many new looks on the eastern municipality after a corruption scandal felled his predecessor Chen Liangyu, who is now under criminal investigation for alleged illegal use of 3.2 billion-yuan (427 million U.S. dollars) social security funds.

    A native of north China's Shaanxi Province, Xi said he had spent "his most memorable time", about 17 years, in Fujian, a southeastern economic powerhouse that is just opposite to Taiwan.

    While steering the Fujian provincial government, Xi encouraged better public services for increasing trade between Fujian and Taiwan. "Ma-Shang-Jiu-Ban", the Chinese for "Go and handle it", is his trademark tag for efficiency.

    After being promoted in November 2002 to the post of Party secreta