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Friday, 15 November, 2002, 17:48 GMT
World greets China's new leader
Jiang Zemin appears on television screens in a shop
Jiang is expected to retain enormous influence
New Chinese Communist Party chief Hu Jintao has been congratulated by the international community.

The United States said it looked forward to working closely with him and his team.

Hu Jintao (AP)
Hu Jintao
  • Trained as engineer
  • Photographic memory
  • Declared martial law in Tibet
  • Has encouraged study of market economics

    See also:

  • Russia and Japan, echoed those sentiments, with Russia predicting that despite the changes in Chinese leadership, relations between the two countries would not change dramatically.

    The Communist Party officially anointed its new generation of leaders at the 16th national Congress, but retiring Party chief Jiang Zemin looks set to retain far-reaching influence behind the scenes.

    White House spokesman Scott McClellan spoke of Washington's important relationship with China saying it will "continue to work closely with Chinese leaders on a variety of issues... including human rights, religious freedoms and economic ties".

    Open in new window : Leadership change
    Reaction from the streets

    As part of what he called "the continuing high-level dialogue between US and Chinese leaders," Mr McClellan said Vice President Dick Cheney would visit China next year.

    During his visit to Washington in May, in which he met President George W Bush, Mr Hu said that "trouble" over Taiwan, which China views as one of its provinces, could damage China-US relations.

    Jiang Zemin
    Jiang Zemin's successors:
  • Hu Jintao, 59
  • Wu Bangguo, 61, technocrat,
  • Wen Jiabao, 60, economics chief
  • Jia Qinglin, 62, Jiang ally
  • Zeng Qinghong, 63, key Jiang adviser
  • Huang Ju, 64, Jiang ally
  • Wu Guanzheng, 64, provincial governor
  • Li Changchun, 58, Jiang ally
  • Luo Gan, 67, security services chief

    See also:

  • Russia said that despite the leadership shuffle it did not expect any dramatic changes, saying Moscow and Beijing had a shared interest in going forward in a pragmatic and constructive manner.

    Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said the change of leadership in China would not alter relations between the two countries.

    "Bilateral exchanges have been expanding in various fields. The trend will not change under the Hu Jintao leadership," he said.

    Outgoing leader Mr Jiang is expected to retain much control.

    He has managed to get several supporters promoted to the Politburo standing committee - China's key decision-making body - which has been expanded to nine members.

    At least five of his allies have been appointed to the standing committee, and Mr Jiang has also been re-elected to head China's powerful military commission, the body which controls the country's armed forces.

    The new line-up was unveiled to reporters in Beijing's Great Hall of the People on Friday.

    "This is a meeting which has carried on the past and opened a new chapter for the future," Mr Hu said.

    Surprise move

    After weeks of speculation that the party was about to undergo a sweeping overhaul, the final outcome still held elements of surprise, says a BBC correspondent in Beijing, Francis Markus.

    While Mr Hu's appointment was expected, the line-up which finally emerged from behind the carved wooden screen of the Great Hall of the People had been expanded to nine members from the previous seven.

    Our correspondent says the increase reflects behind-the-scenes horse-trading, as key members of the out-going leadership shoe-horned in protégés and supporters.

    The new line-up was ranked by party seniority. But analysts expect the two most important figures - alongside Mr Hu - to be Zeng Qinghong and Wen Jiabao.

    Mr Zeng is Mr Jiang's closest adviser and henchman and is likely to lead the so-called Jiang faction.

    Mr Wen, a technocrat, is expected to take over the running of the economy.

    The BBC's Adam Brookes in Beijing
    "Months of political manouvering are over"
    Dr Kegang Wu, director of Chinalink UK
    "The surprise for me is the younth of the new leaders"
    Anthony Grayling, China specialist
    "He (Hu Jintao) is an extremely careful, thoughtful, man"

    Talking PointTALKING POINT
    Jiang ZeminRuling China
    Will new leaders make China more open?

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    15 Nov 02 | Asia-Pacific
    16 Nov 02 | Media reports
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