Don't expect dramatic change from China's new leaders

Xi Jinping

Zhang Dejiang, 65, saw his chances of promotion boosted this year when he was chosen to replace disgraced politician Bo Xilai as Chongqing party boss. He also serves as vice premier in charge of industry, though his record has been tarnished by the downfall of the railway minister last year for corruption.

Zhang is close to former president Jiang Zemin, who still wields some influence. He studied economics at Kim Il-sung University in North Korea and is a native of northeast China.

On his watch as party chief of Guangdong, the southern province maintained its position as a powerhouse of China's economic growth, even as it struggled with energy shortages, corruption-fuelled unrest and the 2003 SARS epidemic.

YU ZHENGSHENG

REFORM CREDENTIALS: Relatively low-key but considered a cautious reformer.

Yu Zhengsheng, 67, is party boss in China's financial hub and most cosmopolitan city, Shanghai.

His impeccable Communist pedigree made him a rising star in the mid-1980s until his brother, an intelligence official, defected to the United States. His close ties with Deng Pufang, the eldest son of late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping, spared him the full political repercussions but he was taken off the fast track.

Yu bided his time in ministerial ranks until bouncing back, joining the Politburo in 2002. However, the princeling's age would require him to retire in 2017 after one term.

LIU YUNSHAN

REFORM CREDENTIALS: A conservative who has kept domestic media on a tight leash.

Liu Yunshan, 65, may take over the propaganda and ideology portfolio for the Standing Committee.

He has a background in media, once working as a reporter for state-run news agency Xinhua in Inner Mongolia, where he later served in party and propaganda roles before shifting to Beijing.

As minister of the party's Propaganda Department since 2002, Liu has also sought to control China's Internet, which has more than 500 million users. He has been a member of the wider Politburo for two five-year terms ending this year.

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