China will hold its most important political event — the 19th Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) — on Wednesday where some 2,300 delegates will meet to decide the leadership of the world’s second-largest economy….A special report by Gaurav Sharma for Asian Lite News
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s re-election as the party’s General Secretary — China’s top post — and a reshuffle in the all-powerful seven-member Politburo Standing Committee and other bodies will be the key highlights of the once in five years event.
“The Congress will last seven days from October 18 to 24,” spokesperson for the CPC, Tuo Zhen, told the Chinese and international media at the Great Hall of the People here. A total of 2,280 delegates will attend the event.
The Congress will chart the course for China’s next five years in the fields of economy and foreign policy besides other domestic issues.
However, this year’s Congress is primarily seen as an event where Xi, who has emerged as China’s most powerful leader in decades, will amass more power.
In nearly an hour and a half long press conference, Tuo said the constitution of the CPC will be amended at the 19th Congress.
“It is an established practice of the party to amend the party’s constitution at the national congresses in response to the innovations in theory and development practice at all national congresses,” Tuo said.
It is speculated that Xi’s philosophy will be incorporated in the constitution. So far the party’s constitutions have the doctrines of greats like Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin.
Last year, Xi was awarded the title of “core” leader, an award only given to Mao, Deng and Jiang. This reflects Xi’s rising power as the honorific places him at the top of the Politburo Standing Committee.
By the de facto retirement rule of 68, five members of the Standing Committee are to retire. Xi, 64, and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, 61, will stay on.
It is to be seen if Wang Qishan, Xi’s close confidant, will be retained in the Standing Committee as he is 69.
Of the 25-member wider Politburo, 11 are due to retire.
Tuo announced that new election of the Central Party Committee and a reshuffle in the country’s top anti-graft body, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, will take place.
Wang heads the anti-corruption body.
Tuo also said there will be no let up in the fight against corruption.
Over a million people have been punished in a Xi’s signature anti-corruption campaign which also includes top echelons in the party and the Army.
The work report of the CPC’s 18th Central Committee and the report of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection will be discussed, Tuo said.
All the meetings will be held behind closed doors and everything will take place according to the pre-written script.
China’s has one of the world’s least transparent political systems.
Founded in 1921, the CPC has nearly 89 million members, a number which is more than the population of Germany.
It is also the world’s longest ruling party. It took power in 1949. The first party Congress was held at 1921 in Shanghai.