New leaders! Old leaders!

Yes, here at Carnet Atlantique we were overjoyed to hear Barack Obama had handily won a second term as POTUS. The blogosphere is clogged with Obama-related opining, so we will say only this: Totally called it.

But onto other world powers’ leadership decisions. China has begun its weeklong Communist Party Congress, which will decide who takes the reins of the world’s second-largest superpower. Reuters was kind enough to publish some quotes from the delegates in a new piece:

“GUO SHUQING, CHAIRMAN, CHINA SECURITIES REGULATORY COMMISSION:

‘Technological innovation in the United States, Britain, and France is supported by venture capital and startup investment. A positive environment for equity finance must be the foundation for innovation. This can push China to enter sectors dominated by developed countries.

The real economy is still focused on low-value-added production – it’s intimately related to the fact that our financial system is not developed. The real economy lags behind because financing is difficult and expensive.

‘We hope that insurance can increase participation in the securities and futures markets. That will make the market more stable and allow it to develop faster.

‘Even though the capital markets have some problems, I have confidence that China’s capital markets are about to welcome a period of rapid development and deliver stable returns to investors.'”

How exactly is this Congress going to be any different from the last? Well, in the wake of the Bo Xilai scandal, there have been calls for, and promises of, greater transparency in the future. Which is hilarious and ironic, because all leaders are being incredibly secretive and quiet about how exactly the leadership transition will take place.

The Gulf Daily News has more:

“China’s ruling Communists opened a pivotal congress to initiate a power handover to new leaders yesterday with a nod to their revolutionary past and a broad promise of cleaner government while keeping off-stage the main event – the bargaining over seats in the new leadership.

All the main players were arrayed on the stage: President Hu Jintao, his successor Xi Jinping and a collection of retired party insiders. A golden hammer and sickle, the Communist Party’s symbol, hung on the back wall.

Yet in a nearly two-hour opening ceremony, scant mention was made of the transition or that in a week Hu will step down as party chief in favour of Xi in what would be only the second orderly transfer of power in 63 years of Communist rule.

The centerpiece event of the opening of the weeklong congress – a 90-minute speech by Hu – served politics, allowing him to define his legacy after a decade in office, while marshaling his clout to instal his allies in the collective leadership that Xi will head.

The party’s silence on a leadership transition has deepened a palpable sense of public unease. Many Chinese feel the country is at a turning point, in need of new ideas to deal with a slowing economy, growing piles of debt and rising public demands for more accountable, transparent government, if not democracy.”

Want more on China, France, America and the world beyond? Check out the latest edition of Carnet Atlantique, online now!

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