At the end of the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) 19th Congress, Xi Jinping was elected to a second five-year term as General Secretary. As expected, he was able to pack China’s top ruling body, the Politburo Standing Committee of the CPC (PBSC) with his allies but contrary to expectations did not choose potential leaders-in-waiting from the so-called ‘sixth generation’ of China’s leaders (those born in the 1960s). The grooming of potential successors has been a Party norm since the demise of Mao Zedong, adopted to ensure that greater political stability and institutionalization within the CPC.
Between 1851 and 1864, China was convulsed by the Taiping rebellion against the Qing dynasty. Britain using its Indian troops intervened on behalf of the Qing in order to try and put down the insurrection. However, from 1857 onwards, when the sepoy mutiny broke out in India, small numbers of Indian soldiers inspired by events back home often switched sides to join the Chinese rebels in the ‘anti-imperial’ struggle.