1. China’s elite prepares for a once-in-a-decade transition at the end of 2012 in which most of the current top leaders, including premier Wen Jiabao and president Hu Jintao, will step down to make way for a new generation.
2. Wen Jiabao calls for “urgent” and “critical” political reforms and he asserts that democracy must come to China eventually fly in the face of conservatives who argue that challenging the political status quo in China will only lead to chaos.
3. Mr Wen Launched a rare attack on Bo Xilai, the embattled mayor of Chongqing municipality who was until recently a front-runner for promotion to the very top of the party, before his police chief was detained for trying to defect to the US.
4. Some analysts and officials believe removing Bo, who remains popular with conservatives and the military and whose father was revolutionary hero and vice-premier of China, could trogger an open schism within the party.
5. But others say allowing him to carry on as before makes the party look weak and beholden to powerful, well-connected individuals.