China: New Leaders, Old Problems

A new generation may be more open to reform than the old guard, but making real changes, especially in the countryside, won't be easy

After seven days of long speeches and innumerable meetings that made up the 17th Chinese Communist Party Congress, this was the moment everyone had been waiting for: Just before noon on Oct. 22, nine party bureaucrats marched in front of flashing cameras and so announced to the world that they had risen to the height of political power in China. The nine were the elite standing committee of the Politburo, the body that ultimately signs off on all key policies affecting the world's largest country.

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