China's Power Transfer: Infighting and Spectacle

In this Sept. 8, 2012 file photo, Chinese President Hu Jintao waves as he arrives for the Leaders Meeting at the APEC summit in Vladivostok, Russia. As the technocratic, reserved Hu prepares to step down as party chief later this month after 10 years in power, China’s ever more entangled in the global economy, its people consume the latest trends in movies, finance and luxury goods via smartphones, yet its politics remain a world apart.

In a recent statement, Chinese President Hu Jintao discussed his nation initiating a more rigorous sea presence.

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In a preview of the speech given to senior officials in July and excerpted and analyzed in state media, Hu stressed the economy remains key. He said getting growth back to a relatively high rate remained crucial to meeting demands from the public — most clearly evidenced by large-scale strikes and protests, or what he called "contradictions."

Cai, the congress spokesman, ticked off a list of what Hu's team had accomplished — wider access to state-supported education through the ninth grade, an expanded social safety net and the start of a nationwide low-cost housing sector.

"The past decade has witnessed the greatest improvement in people's livelihoods in the history of China's development," Cui said. "We will make guaranteeing and improving the people's well-being the guide and aim of what we do."

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Associated Press writers Gillian Wong, Christopher Bodeen and Didi Tang contributed to this report.

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