1. ASCENT

    Xi Jinping Poised to Lead China

    China's Vice President Xi Jinping gestures next to U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, unseen, in a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012. Panetta met Wednesday with Chinese leader-in-waiting Xi, who just days ago reappeared after a puzzling two-week disappearance. (AP Photo/Larry Downing, Pool)

    Larry Downing, Pool / AP Photo

    After short-lived rumors about his health were laid to rest, Chinese politician Xi Jinping stands poised to take the helm of his country in a rare transition of power in November. Well-connected and with a background in China’s peasant regions that still serves well in the political sphere, Xi has made a name for himself as a reformer who still knows when to stick close to his base, using his clout to strike deals that favor local farmers. “People think of him as being from the new generation of technocrats,” said political analyst Jin Zhong. “But he’s really a continuation of the red bureaucracy of his father’s generation.”

    Read it at The New York Times