Special Report

China Decides

The world’s other superpower is having its own “election” this week. And if all goes according to plan, on Nov. 14 nine (or seven) men (and possibly one woman) will stride across the stage in Beijing’s massive Great Hall of the People as the new members of the Politburo Standing Committee, China’s most powerful decision-making ...

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The world’s other superpower is having its own “election” this week. And if all goes according to plan, on Nov. 14 nine (or seven) men (and possibly one woman) will stride across the stage in Beijing’s massive Great Hall of the People as the new members of the Politburo Standing Committee, China’s most powerful decision-making body. They will wave, clap, and smile confidently, signaling to the world the inevitability of their leadership and hiding the messy reality of decades of infighting and moral compromise by which they climbed their way to the top. And their optimism will mask the reality of a China that is facing some of the most severe and daunting challenges in its modern history.

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