BEIJING: China’s ruling Communist Party will hold a once-every-five-years Congress starting on Oct 16, state media said on Tuesday (Aug 30), during which President Xi Jinping is widely expected to secure a precedent-breaking third leadership term.
During the Congress, which typically lasts about a week, roughly 2,300 party members will gather, mostly behind closed doors, at the Great Hall of the People on Tiananmen Square, to choose the party’s leadership for the next five years.
Xi, 69, has steadily consolidated power since becoming party general secretary a decade ago, eliminating any known factional opposition to his rule. China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, Xi is expected to exert largely unchallenged control over key appointments and policy directives.
On the day after the 20th Party Congress, Xi is expected again to be conferred the roles of General Secretary of the Communist Party and Chairman of the Central Military Commission.
His five-year term as president is expected to be renewed at the annual meeting of parliament in March, and follows his move in 2018 to break with precedent and eliminate the two-term limit on the presidency.
With little change expected in broad policy direction, key outcomes from the Congress will revolve around personnel – who joins Xi on the Politburo Standing Committee, which currently has seven members, and who replaces Premier Li Keqiang, who is set to retire in March.