Where is Xi?
Planned years in advance, the 18th Party Congress is slated to be the most sweeping government reorganization in a decade, with scores of leaders scheduled to retire. It was still expected to take place next month or soon after in Beijing, where Mr. Xi was to take over as leader from Hu Jintao. The Communist Party has numerous factions, but the overall framework of the transfer was thought to have been mostly ironed out over the past year.
But recent developments, including Mr. Xi’s mysterious cancellation of several public appearances, suggest that may not be the case.
The most obvious sign of discord is that the dates for the congress have not been set. Most political experts here expected it to be held in mid-October, but without an official announcement, some are predicting it will be delayed.