Speed Reads


China's Xi Jinping begins second 5-year term with new Cabinet but no obvious successor

Chinese President Xi Jinping was formally given a second five-year term on Wednesday, and he immediately announced the six members of his Cabinet, each one of them in their 60s, all men, and none a potential successor.

For the past several decades, it has been customary for China's leader, as he starts his final term, to nominate at least one heir to China's most powerful body, the Politburo Standing Committee. No one knew who made the cut until the committee members were brought out onstage Wednesday, one day after the Communist Party congress ended. During the congress, the party voted to write Xi's name and political philosophy into the constitution, bringing him up to the same level as Mao Zedong.

Xi, 64, was elected in 2012, and during his first term he launched an anti-corruption campaign and cracked down on political opponents. Without a successor and his name and dogma being written into the constitution, experts say it won't be surprising if he continues in his role into the 2030s. In an address to the party, he urged members to become "the backbone of our nation," and said it is his "conviction that the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation will become a reality."