China's new leaders jump into the fire

The politicians assuming China's fifth generation of leadership tomorrow face far greater economic challenges than their predecessors, and a raft of unfixed political problems.

Chinese President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, the core of China's 'fourth generation of leaders', will transfer control of the Communist Party of China on Thursday to Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang and five other members of the incoming fifth generation. The China that they will hand over is in some ways different from but in many ways remarkably similar to the one they inherited, in part because many of the Hu-Wen administration's core mandates remain unfulfilled.

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