Five of the seven members of China’s Politburo Standing Committee — the country’s supreme decision-making body – are due to retire in a massive leadership change that happens twice a decade. Here is how it goes down:
The selection begins with the delegates for the National Party Congress being hand-picked by the Communist Party of China. The National Party Congress meets once every five years. The practice started in 1921, making this year's National Congress the 19th.
There will be around 2,300 delegates who will select members of the Central Committee. The Central Committee consists of around 400 members who approve the 20-25 member Politburo and the 7-member Politburo Standing Committee.
Members of the Politburo Standing Committee are required to retire if they have reached the age of 68 in a National Congress year. This time, five members are set to retire, with Chinese President Xi Jinping (64) and the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (62) the ones left.
Mr. Xi will be returned as General Secretary of the 89 million-strong Party and retain leadership of powerful military. Mr. Li and and Mr. Xi are locked in a battle to fill the Politburo Standing Committee vacancies with their own supporters.
Possible Standing Committee candidates
Li Zhanshu — Often called Mr. Xi’s right-hand man
Wang Huning — Close to Mr. Xi, said to be behind his Chinese Dream campaign, specialist in U.S. politics
Zhao Leji — Head of department which screens candidates for top government posts
Liu Qibao — Head of powerful propaganda department, traditional springboard for promotion
Hu Chunhua — Party Secretary of Guangdong, regarded as rising star