China’s Communist Party holds key meet ahead of congress

The more than 300 members of the outgoing 19th Central Committee convened for an annual plenary session to approve the policies and draft amendments to the CPC’s Constitution 

Updated - October 09, 2022 10:53 pm IST

Published - October 09, 2022 10:51 pm IST - Beijing

China’s President Xi Jinping

China’s President Xi Jinping | Photo Credit: AFP

China’s Communist Party leadership on Sunday gathered for a final key meeting to set the agenda for its upcoming twice-a-decade party congress, which is set to usher sweeping changes in personnel as President Xi Jinping begins an unprecedented third term.

The more than 300 members of the outgoing 19th Central Committee — many of whom will retire at the 20th party congress which begins on October 16 – convened for an annual plenary session called the Seventh Plenum, to approve the policies and draft amendments to the CPC’s Constitution which will be formally unveiled at the week-long congress.

At the congress, Mr. Xi is expected to outline the CPC’s policies for the next five years.

The party will also amend its Constitution, as well as choose its next Politburo and Central Committee.

At Sunday’s plenum, Mr. Xi “delivered explanatory remarks” on the draft report he is likely to present at the congress, while Politburo Standing Committee member Wang Huning explained the draft constitutional amendments, the official Xinhua news agency said.

At the previous congress in 2017, the Constitution was amended to add Mr. Xi’s ideology, officially called “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era”, elevating him on a par with Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping as the only leaders with eponymous ideologies in the Constitution. Only Mao and Mr. Xi were given those honours while in office.

Core status

New amendments may further formalise Mr. Xi’s status as a “core” of the party leadership. Recent state media reports have called on the party to uphold what it calls “two establishes” — enshrining Mr. Xi’s “core status” and his ideology as a leading priority for the party. This will mean even greater control for Mr. Xi in the coming five years.

The congress will “take stock of the party’s work over the past five years, as well as major achievements and valuable experience of the CPC Central Committee with comrade Xi Jinping at its core”, the Xinhua news agency reported, and also “thoroughly review the international and domestic situations” and “formulate action plans and major policies”.

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