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As it happened: China’s 20th Communist Party national congress opens in Beijing

  • The twice-a-decade political gathering will produce sweeping personnel changes at the top as Xi Jinping builds a team for his third term
  • The Chinese leader delivered a report summarising the party’s achievements of the past five years and laying out a trajectory for the years to come

Topic |   China’s 20th Party Congress
China’s President Xi Jinping delivers his speech to the party congress in Beijing. Photo: AFP
China’s President Xi Jinping delivers his speech to the party congress in Beijing. Photo: AFP
INTRODUCTION

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The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party, China’s most consequential political event in a decade, starts today at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

The twice-a-decade gathering will usher in Xi Jinping’s precedent-breaking third term as the party’s general secretary, as well as a new 300-strong Central Committee, the party’s top policymaking body.

It will produce sweeping changes at the top as Xi builds a new team for his third term. Analysts expect many new faces on the seven-member Politburo Standing Committee – the highest decision-making body.

Xi, 69, undoubtedly the most powerful party leader since Deng Xiaoping, is delivering a report summarising the achievements of the past five years and sketching a trajectory for the party and country over the next five years and beyond. His address comes as the world’s second-largest economy faces a host of challenges, from tensions with the West to the Ukraine war and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Reporting by Josephine Ma, Jack Lau, Frank Tang, Stella Chen, William Zheng, Guo Rui and Xinlu Liang