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New Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan makes his diplomatic debut and meets the Philippine foreign affairs secretary on Mar. 23.   © Reuters
China up close

Only Wang Qishan knew what Xi Jinping was going to do

Extended reign leaves even the leader's closest aides with mixed feelings

KATSUJI NAKAZAWA, Nikkei senior staff writer | China

TOKYO -- Everyone got it wrong, said a source regarding Chinese President Xi Jinping's recent political moves. "That includes the young members of the 'Zhejiang faction' who have been closest to Xi over the past year. Only Wang Qishan understood what Xi was trying to do."

The Zhejiang faction is comprised of politicians who spent time with Xi when he was previously Communist Party chief of the eastern province -- such as Chongqing party secretary Chen Min'er -- and are considered Xi's most trusted aides.

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