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In 1980 during a speech to the enlarged meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the CCP, Deng Xiaoping explained the changes made to the leaderships. He said as the first of among reasons, “It is not good to have an over-concentration of power.” And that the concentration will “impedes the progress of socialist development and prevents us from taking full advantage of the collective wisdom” and “liable to give rise to arbitrary rule by individuals at the expense of collective leadership.” His goal was, therefore, to establish institutions in order to prevent another person from gaining as much authority as Mao and him and created a more sustainable and stable collective leadership. His successors and he has successfully established both formal and informal rules on age, education, regional origins and most crucially, retirement for high positions in order to prevent overconcentration of authority.
Ability for younger generations to enter the higher positions is a critical feature to prevent over concentration of power. Today, the politburo continues to elect leaders who “on average are in their early 60s” as established in the 1990s. Furthermore, the norm of “Seven up Eight down” (七上八下) or the oldest possible appointment at the age of 67 was established under Jiang in 2003 . These changes effectively reduced the possibility of one generation or likeminded faction from trying to retain power for too long and allow newer thinking to take a foothold as average age continues to drop, which in many ways will help maintain “collective wisdom” where the voice no longer concentrated on one single generation’s thinking.
The norm in which the party continues to appoint more university graduates allows a more comprehe...

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...L. Miller, “The New Party Politburo Leadership,” China Leadership Monitor, No. 40, January 2013, http://www.hoover.org/publications/china-leadership-monitor/article/137951.

Alice L. Miller, “The New Party Politburo Leadership,” China Leadership Monitor, No. 40, January 2013, http://www.hoover.org/publications/china-leadership-monitor/article/137951.
Alice L. Miller, “The New Party Politburo Leadership,” China Leadership Monitor, No. 40, January 2013, http://www.hoover.org/publications/china-leadership-monitor/article/137951.

Hatton, Celia. "What do Chinese leaders do when they retire?." BBC News. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-21783353 (accessed January 28, 2014).
Zhu, Yunhan, Zhicheng Luo, and Ramon Hawley Myers. The new Chinese leadership: challenges and opportunities after the 16th Party Congress. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.
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