Big shift in leadership due at Chinese Congress

The long-awaited opening of the National People's Congress Aug. 30 is expected to see a major shift in Chinese leadership, reports Monitor contributor Bryan Johnson of the Toronto Globe and Mail. The session, China's version of parliament, will include the resignation of Premier Hua Guofeng as nominal head of state and the promotion of new, younger leaders to many key posts.

The 3,400 delegates will also deal sharp blows at the legacy of the late Mao Tse-tung, whose passing in 1976 ushered in the tough corps of economic pragmatists who currently rule China. Hua's demise has already been privately confirmed by top officials here. It is expected that Vice-Premier Zhao Ziyang, a 61-year-old protege of Deng Xiaoping, will take Hua's post as premier. But it is still not certain whether he will also become head of state.

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