Daily Video

November 12, 2012

China’s Communist Party Meets to Choose Leadership

China’s 18th Communist Party Congress commenced in China on November 8 to begin the once-in-a-decade process of choosing new national leadership. Over 2,000 delegates attended the meeting, where they would, in theory, debate policy and vote for new leaders.

However, in reality, most of these decisions were made in advance behind closed doors.

Outgoing President Hu Jintao spoke to the Congress for 93 minutes about his decade in power while Xi Jinping, the man expected to succeed him, took notes.

Chinese citizens criticize the Communist Party of corruption, and are angry about the growing gap between rich and poor. One woman who had tried to scatter protest leaflets in Tiananmen Square, outside where the Congress met, was quickly ushered away by police.

Although the Party’s leadership may be changing hands, there was no sign that political reforms are coming to China. Party members stayed strictly on message. “I’m proud of the Communist Party. It created miracles in history. It’s found a path that leads to the rise of the Chinese nation,” said one man as he exited the Congress.

Quotes

“Opposing corruption and building an honest and clean government is a clear stance the party has been adhering to and is an important political issue that people have been paying attention to. If we fail to handle this issue well, it could prove fatal to the party and even cause its collapse and the fall of the states,” – President Hu Jintao, China.

Warm Up Questions

1. Where is China? What kind of government does it have?

2. What is communism?

3. What are some differences between the way Americans chose a new president and other countries chose their leaders?

Discussion Questions

1. From watching this video, how is the Chinese government different from the U.S. government?

2. Why do you think political reform is so hard to achieve in China? Does the U.S. government share any of these same obstacles?

3. If the important decisions are made before the Congress convenes, why do you think the Communist Party still goes through with it?

Additional Resources

Video Transcript

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