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

Xi Jinping

Liu worked for the Communist Youth League for two years in Inner Mongolia from 1982-84, and is also aligned to it through his lengthy career in an inland, poor province, long ties to the party's propaganda system and close relationship with Hu Jintao.

WANG QISHAN

REFORM CREDENTIALS: A financial reformer and problem solver with deep experience tackling tricky economic and political problems.

Wang Qishan, 64, is the most junior of four vice premiers and an ex-mayor of Beijing. But he has a keen grasp of complex economic issues and is the only likely member of the Standing Committee to have been chief executive of a corporation, leading the state-owned China Construction Bank from 1994 to 1997.

Wang is likely to lead the fight against corruption, a top priority in the world's second-biggest economy, following his appointment to a key council at the end of the party's 18th congress.

Wang is an experienced negotiator who has led finance and trade negotiations as well as the Strategic and Economic Dialogue with the United States. He is a favourite of foreign investors and has long been seen as a problem solver, sorting out a debt crisis in Guangdong province where he was vice governor in the late 1990s and replacing the sacked Beijing mayor after a cover-up of the deadly SARS virus in 2003.

Wang is also a princeling, son-in-law of a former vice premier and ex-standing committee member, Yao Yilin.

ZHANG GAOLI

REFORM CREDENTIALS: A financial reformer with experience in more developed parts of China.

Zhang Gaoli, 65, party chief of the northern port city of Tianjin and a Politburo member since 2007, is seen as a Jiang Zemin ally but also acceptable to President Hu, who has visited Tianjin three times since 2008. Zhang is an advocate of greater foreign investment and he introduced financial reforms in a bid to turn the city into a financial centre in northern China.

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