A humorous post on Weibo, China’s variant of Twitter, of various shots of former Chinese president Jiang Zemin nodding off — or otherwise looking quite somnolent at the 18th National People’s Congress of the Chinese Communist Party.
The Congress kicked off earlier today in Beijing, and is expected to produce the elevation of Xi Jinping (习近平) to the position of general secretary of the Party as China’s current president and ‘paramount leader’ Hu Jintao (胡锦涛) transfers power to a new generation of leaders.
Notably, Hu’s predecessor, former president Jiang Zemin (江泽民) has emerged as a key political player, and he has influenced many of the expected new members of the Politburo Standing Committee that will essentially govern China for the next five years under Xi’s leadership.
The post was removed from Weibo, of course. Despite a remarkably more open transfer of power, there are still limits on political expression in the People’s Republic.