Chinese views on power transfer
- 15 November 2012
- From the section Asia
As China's ruling Communist Party unveils a new set of leaders, we asked Chinese people about the importance of the power transfer to them, and what their expectations are of the new leaders.
Yuyao Wang, economics student, Beijing
I look forward to seeing some new faces partly out of boredom of seeing the same old faces for 10 years, but mostly because of my wish for a better decade.
I'm not denying the advantage of China's political structure - totalitarian authority and state-owned resources ensure low unemployment rate and quick recovery from global financial crisis.
However, I can also readily notice swelling complaints about every particular aspect of government - from corruption and specific privileges to exorbitant censorship upon media.
The party has to realise that this is no longer the era of central control.
The truth can no longer be distorted since youngsters like me know how to "climb over the wall" and get connected to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
In other words, a great task for the upcoming Politburo would be to better explain the incentives and purposes of what the government does.
It's worth mentioning that I have seen positive signs of changes: Mr Xi's speech words are much more casual than those of Mr Hu since he used Chinese idioms to point out too much dead wood in the party.
I don't want to be over-optimistic, but I quite like to believe that our new leaders are aware of the necessity for transition and that they won't lose themselves in simpler tasks, like tackling corruption.
Ben Lam, bank worker, Guangzhou
We don't care about the change of leadership, because we don't vote for them.
I have personally never heard about a leader who comes from an unknown family. They all come from influential families, from the right background.
The question I really care about is when will we be able to vote for a mayor of Guangzhou. I give myself the answer - not for decades!
The new leaders have many areas to work on, but the most important one is life for ordinary people.
However, I have no expectations of them. They don't come from the midst of us, and therefore they don't understand our lives and the problems we deal with on a daily basis.
If I have any expectations at all - it is that they'll serve their own interests, which are very different from ours.
Oscar Tian, coal mining machinery company, Xian, Shaanxi province
To be honest, I don't care about the leadership change in my country.
The only remotely interesting thing is that Mr Xi's family comes from an area in Shaanxi province, which is very close to my home town. As you can imagine, there are celebrations happening in that small county right now.
The whole country is holding celebrations because of the party congress. Our company has organised an event to watch and learn from the opening of congress.
I dislike that not only because I am not a party member, but most of all because it is utterly meaningless.
Present times are very tough for working people who are quietly angry about the unequal distribution of income.
Unemployment, high prices of goods, corruption, extortionate property prices - no easy issues for the new leadership class to tackle.
But anger will start to show if our leaders continue to turn a blind eye to these problems.
Actually I am confident that there will be changes in the economy because Mr Xi has a very strong track record in the field of economics.
Mandy Ip, retired IT manager, Hong Kong
After 10 years, it is time for a new leadership! The change should bring new ideas and rejuvenate the government. Mr Hu and Mr Wen should have a rest after serving the country for so long.
There are many challenges ahead for the new leaders. The most important thing for the millions of Chinese people is better life in general. I also feel strongly about fighting corruption and accelerating the democratic process, although I doubt they'll do well on these two issues.
Apart from that, I have a high hope that they will take the country in the right direction.
I also hope the world does not look at China with tinted glasses.
Let's abandon the Cold War mentality and move on with a positive outlook. You are free to say whatever you want about the government here, as long as you don't try to provoke unrest.
Our democratic system is not perfect but we are moving towards a more open society. With its 56 ethnic groups, China has an incredibly diverse population and for it to be united is more important than anything else.
Sam Shao, student in Canada, from Shijiazhuang, Hebei province
The change of leadership doesn't have much significance for me. We don't know what our leaders think, they don't express opinions like their counterparts in North America.
Everything is done in secret and not much can be heard or interpreted from the official statements.
However, many people do hope for some changes under the new leaders. I think the most important issues to be addressed right now are the real estate market and the income gap.
The price of buying a flat in major cities is too expensive for young families, yet others have profited hugely from the property market.
While many enjoy their newly-acquired wealth, others can barely support themselves on their poor income. I think this could create a lot of discontent and social instability.
Other than the income gap, I think China's new leaders should reform the education system and make it more effective and less cruel.
Students receive constant pressure since elementary school and a failure at the university entrance exam means a failure to have a bright future. Rural and suburban students also can't compete against those in major cities because not enough educational resources are provided for them.
I do not have high hopes for the new leaders of China. They are not voted into office by the general public and therefore do not have the obligation to listen to the public. They'll address the issues that affect their own interests.
Interviews by Krassimira Twigg