Leaders linked with Tiananmen Square uprising may rule China post-2012November 14th, 2007 - 2:02 am ICT by admin
One of the two, Li Keqiang, 52, mixed in his student days with future leaders of the Tiananmen Square protest movement, and in 1989, was a senior official in the Communist Youth League, which defended the demonstrators as “patriots”.
The other, Xi Jinping, 54, was a local official in southern China at the time. But his father, a former vice-premier, backed a party leader who was sacked for pursuing liberal reforms and whose death triggered protests.
According to Western diplomats and analysts, both are likely to be promoted to the politburo standing committee, the inner sanctum of Chinese politics. Its eight members are certain to be reshuffled, if only because a number are over the unofficial retirement age of 68.
ll speculation surrounding potential successors may yet be proved wrong. In the 60 years the party has been in power, potential successors have often been purged or face a situation that could be worse.
The bets are Xi becoming vice-president and Li becoming a vice-premier. Both are little known outside the party, having spent years climbing the provincial government hierarchy.
Xi is party secretary of Shanghai. Li, said to be Hu Jintao’s personal protege, is party boss of industrial Liaoning province.
But their biographies, along with the fact that both have degrees in law rather than engineering and the sciences, show a marked difference from the present leadership.
Both were “sent-down youths” - teenagers sent to the countryside during the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s to do manual labour.
When Li finally went to Beijing University, he studied law under a liberal professor, and helped to translate the writings of Lord Denning, the former Master of the Rolls.
Zhang Zuhua, who worked with Li in the 1980s, said he discussed democratic ideals with future leaders of the Tiananmen Square protests, some now in exile.
According to Zhang: “These people are sure to have come under the influence of Western ideologies and theories.” (ANI)
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Tags: china post, chinese politics, communist youth league, government hierarchy, liaoning province, liberal reforms, manual labour, party boss, party congress, party secretary, politburo standing committee, president hu jintao, protest movement, tiananmen square protest, tiananmen square uprising, vice president, western diplomats