The New York Times—C. Buckley / China unveils new leadership, with Xi Jinping more powerful than ever
- In addition to Xi Jinping and China’s premier, Li Keqiang, the new Politburo Standing Committee will include five other members, all of them men in their 60s.
- The Chinese Communist Party declined to name a younger leader to the committee who might succeed Mr. Xi when his second term ends.
- This may signal that Mr. Xi intends to dominate Chinese politics beyond this next five-year term. Mr. Xi may also want more time to test possible successors, while avoiding lame duck status with an heir in the wings.
- Most of the new members to the Standing Committee selected by Mr. Xi were not his longtime associates, though most had worked with him in some capacity.
- “Xi has seemingly chosen magnanimity with the list,” said Christopher K. Johnson, expert on Chinese elite politics at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “Of course, that’s easy to do when you’ve achieved your two core objectives — making yourself the party’s untenured ideological arbiter and refraining from signaling the succession.”
- Financial Times / Xi Jinping’s top team: China’s new Politburo Standing Committee
The Guardian—M. Chulov / I will return Saudi Arabia to moderate Islam, says crown prince
- Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, has vowed to return the country to “moderate Islam” and asked for global support to transform the kingdom into an open society that empowers citizens and lures investors.
- “What happened in the last 30 years is not Saudi Arabia. What happened in the region in the last 30 years is not the Middle East… We are simply reverting to what we followed – a moderate Islam open to the world and all religions… we will destroy [extremist thoughts] now and immediately.”
- The crown prince has announced the launch of an ambitious $500bn (£381bn) independent economic zone straddling Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt.
- The economic zone has been unveiled as the centrepiece of efforts to turn the kingdom away from a near total dependence on oil and into a diverse open economy. It is due to be completed by 2025 – five years before the current cap on the reform programme – and is to be powered by wind and solar energy.
Financial Times—C. Jones / European Central Bank divided over wisdom of declaring end to QE
- The European Central Bank is gearing up for its most important meeting of the year. At issue is whether the ECB will declare that the economy has recovered sufficiently for quantitative easing to end next year.
- On one side of the debate is Mario Draghi, the ECB’s president, who would like to preserve room for manoeuvre. On the other are more hawkish policymakers, such as Jens Weidmann, the Bundesbank president, and Klaas Knot, the Dutch central bank governor.
- Conditions are now so good that none of the council’s 25 members is likely to disagree on Thursday when Peter Praet, the ECB’s chief economist, sets out plans to cut the size of the monthly asset purchases next year, from €60bn at present to between €40bn and €20bn.
- The size of that cut could help determine how long the ECB plans to keep QE alive.
Washington Post—R. Noack / Being outside the Paris climate deal: Something now only the U.S. and Syria agree on
- Nicaragua’s vice president, Rosario Murillo, announced Monday that the country has submitted relevant documents to the United Nations and is now set to join the Paris climate deal.
- That means that the only two countries in the world refusing to be part of the agreement are now Syria and the US.
- Nicaragua’s initial reasons not to be part of the deal were vastly different from those of Syria or the US. Officials in Managua believed that the agreement did not go far enough in protecting the world from climate change.
- However, “it is the only instrument we have in the world that allows the unity of intentions and efforts to face up to climate change and natural disasters,” said Murillo.
The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo.