The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is about to enter the final phase of the transition of power to the new leadership. The process, inaugurated in the Spring of 2011, has been neither transparent, nor smooth and free from sometimes dramatic intra-party struggles. Even though it has been subject to intense scrutiny, its ultimate outcome remains an enigma. The author of the analysis takes stock of the procedural aspects of the periodic change of guard within the CCP’s core of power and influence, and confronts them with the known and alleged factional strives in an attempt to offer an early forecast of the prospects for China’s internal political development and its foreign policy in the coming decade. The fifth generation of Chinese leaders will preside over a tumultuous period in China’s interactions with the international community—one in which likely see the solidification of the country’s status as a great power.