China Leadership Monitor

The Problem of Hu Jintao’s Successor

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

One question that the Chinese Communist Party leadership is likely to address in preparation for the 17th Party Congress in 2007 is designation of the eventual successor to the party’s top leader, Hu Jintao. Resolution of this question will challenge existing arrangements and power balances in the leadership and so spark controversy and infighting. Not surprisingly, Beijing has tightly guarded whatever discussion of this question may have already occurred and has given no intimation of who Hu’s successor may be.