Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. China's incoming president wants to be seen as a man of the people. And he seems to know what the people don't want from their politicians. So for this year's opening of parliament, the president has banned extravagant banquets, gifts, flowers in rooms.
And in a parliament filled with hand-picked delegates used to launching to endless praise of the party, also banned are long-winded speeches; plus, empty talk is discouraged.
Though new Chinese leader Xi Jinping "didn't once mention Marxism or Mao Zedong" today as he stepped into his new role, the make-up of the "gang of seven" that he now heads "will disappoint those hoping for sweeping reform," NPR's Louisa Lim reports from Beijing.
China's vice president, Xi Jinping, who is poised to become the country's new leader, is widely traveled and stayed briefly in Muscatine, Iowa, in the 1980s. He returned again in February of this year and met some of the people he knew from his earlier visit. Xi, right, is shown greeting Muscatine resident Eleanor Dvorchak.
Chinese Communist Party leaders attend the opening session of the 18th Communist Party Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, on Thursday. The meeting marks the beginning of a once-in-a-decade transfer of power.
Two days after the U.S. election, another major political development is unfolding on the other side of the world. China began its once-in-a-decade transition of power on Thursday with the opening of its 18th Communist Party Congress.
With its lack of personalities or political platforms, it is almost diametrically opposed to the hurly-burly of U.S. elections. In Beijing, the message was about fighting corruption and keeping the Communist Party in power.
Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Aug. 29. He hasn't been seen or heard from since Sept. 1.
Credit How Hwee Young / AP
Twelve days is a long time to go without a mention — at least if you're China's president-in-waiting.
Xi Jinping, 59, the man tapped to succeed President Hu Jintao next month, hasn't been seen or heard from since Sept. 1, prompting intense speculation in the foreign media, among China watchers and in blogs, tweets and forums, as we reported earlier.