The Big Question for China this year is how to deal with 2012. The Communist Party is holding its 17th Congress later this year, and party general secretary Hu Jintao will be given another five-year term. But how to choose the person who will succeed him in 2012? And how to ensure that person has broad support from all parts of the party? There is no clear path to follow. Hu, of course, is party chief because Deng Xiaoping specifically chose him as the one to follow Jiang Zemin. Does Hu possess the aura that would allow him to do the same? And would it be a long-term and stable arrangement if he did? Unlikely on both questions. Almost certainly, the choice of the successor will be handled in a wider, more inclusive way. Inside the party, of course, not outside. That next step is presumably for 2022. But it is this year that the basic decisions need to be made because whoever the successor is, he needs to start showing his face at the 17th Congress.