President Hu Jintao won a second five-year term as China’s Communist Party chief today, heading a new leadership lineup that features potential successors.
Hu’s ability to manage the new, disparate coalition will determine how united the party is in dealing with tensions over a yawning gap between rich and poor at home and managing China’s rising clout abroad so as not to anger the United States and other world powers.
If Hu is successful, he will be freer to boost spending on health, education and other services long-neglected in the headlong drive for economic growth.
A party congress that wrapped up Sunday endorsed Hu’s signature policy program to help the poor and saw the retirement of a key rival. A Central Committee meeting today elevated a Hu protege, Li Keqiang, into the leadership.
North Korean holds talks in Syria
A high-level North Korean official held talks Sunday with Syria’s Prime Minister Naji Otari on ways to improve cooperation between the two countries, state media said.
The visit by Choe Thae Bok, the speaker of North Korea’s parliament, comes amid lingering suspicions that North Korea may be providing nuclear assistance to Syria.
Israeli warplanes struck a target in Syria on Sept. 6., and Western news media have quoted unidentified U.S. officials as saying the strike hit some sort of nuclear facility linked to North Korea.
North Korea provides missile technology to Syria but has strongly denied accusations that it spreads its nuclear expertise beyond its borders. Syria also has denied receiving any North Korean nuclear help or embarking on any nuclear program.
Official dies after attack by monkeys
Wild monkeys attacked a senior government official who then fell from a balcony at his home and died Sunday, media reported.
New Delhi Deputy Mayor S.S. Bajwa was rushed to a hospital after the attack by a gang of Rhesus macaques, but succumbed to head injuries sustained in his fall, the Press Trust of India news agency and the Times of India reported.