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Xi Faces Economic Test of Courage After Leadership Change

China’s placement of a North Korean-educated economist and an exemplar of debt-fueled infrastructure on its ruling body may add to challenges for Communist Party leader Xi Jinping as he seeks to deepen the nation’s development.

Zhang Dejiang, who studied economics at Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang, and Zhang Gaoli, whose city began building a mini-Manhattan under his watch, were appointed to the paramount Politburo Standing Committee in Beijing yesterday in the most important phase of a once-a-decade power transition. Xi and Li Keqiang were named the top two members of the panel of seven, along with Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan and Wang Qishan.