And the winner is… Xi Jinping! Try to contain your shock.

In a hotly-contested race… ha ha, just kidding. We knew it, he knew, all of China knew it. Meet the new President, Xi Jinping!

Yes, as the Washington Post reports, China’s Communist Party has a new leader, and his name is Xi Jinping. It’s a time of heightened anxiety for everyone, according to the Post, after China’s white-hot growth slowed this year, freaking the collective hell out of everyone.

But though everyone knew Jinping would could out on top, the Congress still had a few surprises:

“The transition ends months of internal rivalry, secrecy and speculation, and will determine the country’s future at a time of economic worries, increased regional tensions and widespread clamor for reform.

In a surprise, Hu also relinquished his title as chairman of the Central Military Commission, the body that runs China’s 2.3 million-member army. With Xi now taking over the chairmanship of the military body, China’s transition is now virtually complete, lessening the prospect of a lingering rivalry for influence between the outgoing and incoming leaders.

Xi, in his remarks, said the party’s trust and people’s expectations ‘are a source of tremendous encouragement for us, and put enormous responsibility on our shoulders.’

‘The people’s desire for a better life is what we shall fight for,” Xi said. He said his main job was to “steadfastly take the road of prosperity for all.’

He said the ruling Communist Party would be “proud but not complacent, and we will never rest on our laurels.” He said the party suffered from problems of “corruption, taking bribes, being out of touch with the people, [and] undue emphasis on bureaucracy and formalities.’

What direction Xi and the other new leaders will take is not known. While waiting in the wings for five years, Xi has carefully avoided giving any hint of his priorities, remaining strictly neutral to avoid endangering his status as heir among the party’s competing factions.”

Sounds like a pretty safe tactic on Xi’s part, which, according to Reuters, is in keeping with the overall strategy of this decade’s Congress:

“China’s ruling Communist Party unveiled an older, conservative new leadership line-up on Thursday that appears unlikely to take the drastic action needed to tackle pressing issues like social unrest, environmental degradation and corruption.

New party chief Xi Jinping, premier-in-waiting Li Keqiang and vice-premier in charge of economic affairs Wang Qishan, all expectedly named to the elite decision-making Politburo Standing Committee, are considered cautious reformers. The other four members have the reputation of being conservative.

‘We’re not going to see any political reform because too many people in the system see it as a slippery slope to extinction,’ said David Shambaugh, director of the China Policy Program at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs.

‘They see it entirely through the prism of the Soviet Union, the Arab Spring and the Colour Revolutions in Central Asia, so they’re not going to go there.’

Wang, the most reform-minded in the line-up, has been given the role of fighting widespread graft.”

What do you think? Are good things in store for China?

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