Taken from the Shanghaiist:

A post apparently has been widely circulated around the internet entitled 《大会现场鼓掌40次表达党心民意》(“Delegates clapped 40 times, showing the heart of the party is in alignment with the desire of the people”). According to that post, journalists had observed:

  • Delegates had clapped a grand total of 40 times throughout President Hu’s 2.5 hour speech
  • They clapped a total of 10 times during the President’s recap of the “great milestones in the history of reform and opening up”
  • The 1,000-word segment on he Taiwan issue was interrupted by applause 5 times. In particular, there was loud applause when Hu mentioned “任何涉及中国主权和领土完整的问题,必须由包括台湾同胞在内的全中国人民共同决定” (All issues related to China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity must be solved by the people of China, and that includes the Taiwanese compatriots). And when the President said “绝不允许任何人以任何名义任何方式把台湾从祖国分割出去” (We will not allow anyone or any cause to use any method to separate Taiwan from the motherland), the applause lasted for over 30 seconds.

Despite the constant remarks about democracy, Hu has done next to nothing to further liberalize the party and in fact it seems that he still has not (and maybe never will) consolidate power. The Economist is reporting that Hu’s aireapparent Li Keqiang will have some competition forced on Hu by various factions in the party, Xi Jinping. As far as I can tell, neither of them appear to be ideologically different from Hu in any significant way. If they are both as hawkish as I assume, they will be around in 2012 for the final showdown and won’t falter like poor Zhao Ziyang.