Hu Jintao, the 59-year-old newly-elected general secretary of the 16th CPC Central Committee, and eight other members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee made a group debut to the press Friday morning.
The historic event was broadcast live through China's central television, radio and the Internet.
At 11:36 a.m. (03:36 GMT), Hu Jintao, Wu Bangguo, Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin, Zeng Qinghong, Huang Ju, Wu Guanzheng, Li Changchun and Luo Gan filed into the East Grand Hall of the Great Hall of the People. They all wore dark suit and red ties, waving hands towards the press.
Except Hu, the other eight are all new faces at the CPC's top decision-making body. Their average age is 61.4 years old, four years younger than that of the last Politburo Standing Committee members when elected in 1997.
Such a sweeping shift is unprecedented in the Party's history. Analysts say it shows the great courage and wisdom of the CPC as well as the sterling integrity and far-sightedness of the third generation CPC leaders with Jiang Zemin at the core.
Hu introduced to the press his colleagues one by one. He told reporters that Li Changchun is the youngest and Luo Gan is "our elder brother."
Hu made a short speech after the introduction, pledging that the new leadership will not fail the great trust of the entire party members and the expectations of the Chinese people.
"The CPC will further show the rest of the world its sound image of keeping pace with the times and keeping to be creative and pioneering," Hu said.
He stressed the new leadership of the CPC would concentrate on construction and development so as to continue pushing forward China's reform, opening-up, and modernization drive.
"China will certainly have a more splendid future," Hu said. "China's further development will contribute more to world peace and development."
Warm applause broke off when the 20-minute meeting ended.
(Xinhua News Agency November 15, 2002)