The Chinese Communist Party’s 17th Congress consolidated the power and policy directions promoted by General Secretary Hu Jintao and strengthened his hand in managing leadership processes and in shaping future decisions about leadership appointments. The congress also followed precedent in initiating the process of preparing Hu’s successor, who is intended to take power in 2012–15. Finally, the congress continued the effort to institutionalize collective leadership decision-making among the Politburo oligarchy.

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