Yesterday was the day: the baton has been passed to a new generation of leaders. The very moment of this transition was captured in the form of a handshake between former president Hu Jintao and new president Xi Jinping yesterday at the annual session of the 12th National People’s Congress in Beijing. Thus there’s only one leading headline on the front pages of China’s newspapers today: “Xi Jinping elected as state president” (or some variation of this), and there’s one recurring front page image: the inter-generational transitional handshake between Hu and Xi. As shown above, the Youth Daily (青年报) even put the words “Passing of the baton” (交棒) right above the handshake image on its front page.
Some newspapers have today also published biographies of Xi and the other new leaders, along with a description of how the elections took place yesterday. Admittedly there’s not much else to say except that the delegates voted, the votes were counted, and the results were announced. Thus the Qinghai Legal Daily (青海法制报), for example, today uses the handshake image on its front page and reports all these matters very matter-of-factly, adding at the end that “once the results of the vote were announced, everyone present rose up and applauded heartily for a long time”.
Yet Xi doesn’t have the front pages all to himself today. He shares the limelight with a few other top new leaders from yesterday’s elections, notably Zhang Dejiang (elected chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress) and Li Yuanchao (elected vice president), among others.
So there are two types of front pages in China today (see the two galleries below):
- the transitional handshake, and
- the line of portraits
And here they are:
The transitional handshake
The line of portraits