There has been little public outcry against the power of the elders: The tendency to cherish consensus and stability seems to trump any call for their influence to be curbed.
That could change: In his address Thursday, Hu himself urged greater transparency within party affairs based on ‘‘equality and democratic principle.’’
Yet, until the party moves on such reforms, the enduring influence of the elders will perpetuate factionalism.
‘‘A leadership based on personal patronage and divided loyalty at the highest level will only create obsequious bureaucrats and potentially greater political instability,’’ said U.S. Naval Academy China analyst Yu Maochun.
‘‘Factionalism and purges will inexorably arise, and that has proven catastrophic for China,’’ Yu said.