China announced today the election of a new ruling Politburo composed almost entirely of old soldiers and bureaucrats known to favor experience and discipline and to disdain the youth movements that have disrupted Chinese politics over the last decade.
The Politburo of the Communist Party Central Committee is in effect China's central legislative executive organ, so the new 23-member body - all men and nearly all over 60 - is expected to affect nearly every aspct of Chinese life for the next several years.
The lineup of new leaders makes it clear that Peking will vigorously pursue its policy of steady industrial growth while emphasizing labor discipline and perhaps providing incentives for workers through wage increases and bonuses.
In foreign policy, the direction the new group will take is not yet clear. In recent months, China has been vehemently anti-Soviet and the unhappy memories that the veteran Politburo members share of Soviet abandonment in the early 1960s would be expected to keep that policy alive.
Peking radio's reports of the election Firday by the party's new 11th Central Committee brought hundreds of thousands of demonstrators into the streets of this capital city to hail the decision. Drums and firecrackers boomed and traffic was almost hopeless snarled.
The appointments gave China a fully manned and legitimate leadership for the first time since the deaths and political fueds began to break down Peking's decision-making processes, shortly after the last Politburo was appointed in 1973.
The new veteran leaders took their posts on the eve of the arrival of Secretary of State Cyrus Vance for negotiations on the stalled move toward full U.S.-China diplomatic relations, a five-year-old policy goal considered important by both countries.
Vance arrived in Tokyo today for an overnight stay before going on to Peking Monday.
The appointments leave Communist Party Chairman Hua Kuo-feng and his close advisers at the top of the party hierarchy where they have been since shortly after the death of Chairman Mao Tse-tung a year ago. But the 10 names added to the list of Politburo members serving under them indicate that Peking leaders harrassed byRed Guards a decade ago no longer see so grave a need to bow to Mao's policy of top representation for youth and women.
The announcement named four vice chairmen, all members of the last Politburo, to serve under Hua in the new body: Defense Minister Yeh Chien-ying, Vice Premier Teng Hsiao-ping, Vice Premier Li Hsien-nien and former Mao bodyguard Wang Tung-hsing.
The other re-elected Politburo members were Kwang Kuo-ching, the ill and inactive army marshal Liu Po-cheng, Canton army commander Hsu Shih-yu, Vice Premier Chi Teng-kuei, Manchurian troop commander Li Teh-sheng, Peking Mayor Wu Teh, model peasant Chen Yung-kuei, and Peking army commander Chen Hsi-lien.
Admitted to full Politburo membership for the first time were veteran Mongolian leader Ulanfu science and technology czar Fang Yi, Shanghai Mayor Su Chen-hua, economic planning chief Yu Chiu-li, air force commander Chang Ting-fa, foreign Communist Party liaison chief Keng Piao, old army marshal Nieh Jung-chen, Shanghai administrator Ni Chih-fu, army commander Hsu Hsian-chien and Shanghai administrator Peng Chung.
The clear winner in the Politburo realignment was Wang Tung-hsing, the former Mao bodyguard who now appears to be in charge of Chinese secret service and espionage forces. Ranked about No. 7 in the last Politburo, Wang jointed the top five who were named as the standing committee of the Politburo, the most elite group in China.
The clear loser appeared to be a woman, Wu Kuei-hsien, 32, who was an alternate member of the last Politburo and would have a been a perfect choice for promotion to full membership if the party leadership had wanted to offer women representation. Two of the male alternate members, Ni and Su, were promoted to full membership and a third male alternate member, Uighur minority leader Saifudin, kept his alternate post. Wu lost hers but remained on the 210-member Central Committee.
Promoted to alternate Politburo membership were Szechuan party chief Chao Tzu-yang and foreign aid chief Chen Mu-hua, who thus becomes the leading woman in the party.
Of the 23 members, at least nine have pursued careers almost entirely in the military. At least five suffered some kind of forced retirement during the Cultural Revolution of the late 1960s when Mao attacked veteran officials as too entrenched and too privileged.
In their relations with the United States, the new Politburo's veterans of the yet-unfinished Chinese civil war would be expected to continue Peking's firm insistence on its right to invade and recover the island province Taiwan, which an exiled Nationalist Chinese government now rules.
There are several approaches to the Taiwan problem, the main hitch in U.S.-China relations, and Vance is expected to try them out on the new Chinese leadership. U.S. officials have described the four days of talks as little more than a get-acquainted session between two new governments, but Carter would obviously welcome some progress in the China area to make up for disappointments in the Middle East and elsewhere.