“Very few people know about who China's new leader will be, what he thinks”, said Minxin Pei, Claremont McKenna College. Within China, Xi is less famous than his wife, army general turned the folk singer Peng Liyuan, but this will undoubtedly change over the next decade.
If Xi wants to reform the Party and the country, he has two major limitations: firstly, the system “is in favour of moderation, and nothing can change quickly. Steady as it goes, the political rhythm first has to be installed…. Significant shifts will come later”, (David Kelly, Director of the Beijing-based political think-tank China Policy.) Secondly, he will be constrained in his ability to set his own policies, due to having to consult with two retired presidents who have often clashed over the last decade. Senior leaders like former President Jiang Zemin appear to be keeping their fingers on the buttons of power long into retirement. As Kerry Brown, head of the Asia programme at Chatham House states, “the issue lies with who opposes you rather than who supports you.”
We will just have to wait and see what the effects of this change in leadership has in stall for the Communist Party, China and the resulting global knock-on effect.