Akio Yaita, director of the Taipei branch of Japan’s newspaper Sankei Shimbun, told Voice of Hope that incumbent Vice Premier Hu Chunhua could be the one to replace Li Keqiang after the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) ’s 20th Congress.

However, Yaita also thinks Wang Yang could be a strong candidate to replace Li Keqiang. Wang is currently the Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the fourth member of the CCP’s Standing Committee of the Politburo.

Fan Shiping, a professor at the Taiwan Normal University, believes that Xi Jinping may have supported Li Qiang, the current Party Committee Secretary of Shanghai, and wanted Li Qiang to replace Li Keqiang. However, the dire situation in Shanghai after the 2-month lockdown makes Li Qiang likely to lose his advantage, so Hu Chunhua, a relatively neutral between the factions, has more opportunity.

Fan Shiping added that he believes Hu Chunhua has been in Xi Jinping’s eye for 10 years, so Hu’s chances are high.

Commenting on the situation of the CCP after the 20th Congress, Yaita said the current CCP has two factions, one led by Xi Jinping that tends to restore the policies of Mao Zedong. Meanwhile, the other faction, led by Li Keqiang, advocated reform and opening up following the line of Deng Xiaoping.

Yaita found that Xi wants to dominate the CCP but hasn’t defeated the opposing side. So after the 20th Congress, there will still be two opposing factions in the CCP.

Sound of Hope cited Shimbun’s report saying that if Hu Chunhua gets into the Politburo Standing Committee at CCP’s 20th Congress, he can be seen as Xi Jinping’s successor in 2027.

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