While no Chinese leader has chosen his own successor in decades, Mr. Xi is an exceptionally strong ruler and has demonstrated a strong, if tacit, preference for Mr. Chen. Further consolidation of power during his next 5 year term may allow him to buck the trend.
October 23, 2017
‘The best career move by rising political star Chen Min’er may well have been his efforts 15 years ago to promote another phenom— Xi Jinping.
With Mr. Xi now starting a second five-year term as China’s top leader—and with the question looming of whether he will step down in 2022—Mr. Chen is poised to enter the upper ranks as a potential handpicked successor to his mentor.
“Chen Min’er has enjoyed a helicopter ride to the top,” said Willy Lam, a professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. “It’s a signal that he’s certainly one of the favorites of Xi Jinping.”’