Ruling elite of China’s Communist Party makes final preparations for five-yearly congress

Plenary session of Central Committee will review draft reports on work of party, discipline and anti-corruption

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 11 October, 2017, 12:57pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 October, 2017, 10:18pm

China’s Communist Party opened a meeting on Wednesday to make final preparations for a key congress next week at which President Xi Jinping is expected to further tighten his grip on power.

The seventh plenary session of the party’s Central Committee will review draft reports on the work of the party, its discipline and anti-corruption commission, and amendments to be made to the party’s constitution, all of which will be delivered at the 19th party congress – a twice-a-decade event – that opens on October 18, Xinhua reported.

The congress would “summarise historical progress and precious experiences” in advancing socialism with Chinese characteristics gained with Xi at the party’s core, the report said.

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“The congress will also thoroughly examine the current international and domestic situation and draw out guidelines and policies that respond to the call of the times,” it said, without giving specifics.

Details of the speech that Xi, the party’s general secretary, will give at the opening session of the congress are closely guarded secrets, although the event is more about ideology than concrete policies.

It is unclear how long the plenum will last.

Last October, the party gave Xi the title of “core” leader, a significant strengthening of his position ahead of the congress, at which a new Politburo Standing Committee, the pinnacle of power in China, will be constituted.

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The party’s constitution will be amended at the end of the congress, likely to include a reference to Xi’s thinking or ideology as a guiding party principle.

Mao Zedong and the reformist former leader Deng Xiaoping already have their names enshrined in the document, although Xi’s two immediate predecessors, Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin, do not.