BEIJING: China’s ruling Communist Party will hold its key conclave in November ahead of next year’s party Congress which will pave the way for major leadership changes and a possible unprecedented third term for President Xi Jinping.
The 6th plenary session of the 19th Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee will be held in Beijing in November, the party’s high power Politburo meeting announced on Tuesday.
However, no date has been announced.
Xi, 68, who is regarded as the most powerful leader after CPC founder Mao Zedong, is heading the party, the military and presidency presided over the meeting.
According to the agenda unveiled on Tuesday, the Politburo will present its work report to the plenary session, which will study the issue of comprehensively reviewing the major achievements made and the historical experience accumulated during the Party’s 100 years of endeavour, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
More than 370 full and alternate members of the Central Committee will take part in the plenum.
Over the past three decades, the party has usually used the last plenary session to address party affairs, especially on key appointments, ideology and party-building matters.
This year’s meeting is regarded as a landmark conclave as it is being held ahead of next year’s Party Congress which will formally mark the completion of Xi’s second term as the Party General Secretary.
Xi’s predecessors have all retired following the mandatory rule of two five-year terms.
Xi is widely regarded to be in power after his second tenure, possibly for life in view of a constitutional amendment in 2018 which removed the two-term limit for the President.
He has also been made core leader of the party in 2016 – a status enjoyed by Mao.
Observers will be watching to see if the party continues to follow precedent on its leadership changes, especially the informal retirement age of 68 for its top leadership set by Party’s founder Mao’s successor Deng Xiaoping.
Along with Xi, Premier Li Keqiang too will be completing his two-term limit early 2023.
Nearly a dozen of the 25 members of the Politburo will be older than 68 in October next year, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.
Since he took over the reins of the CPC in late 2012, Xi had consolidated his grip on power with the high-intensity anti-corruption campaign in which over a million officials, including many top military officials, were punished.
He has also launched several political initiatives including the realisation of Chinese dream broadly defined as reclaiming the lost greatness of the nation, making China a moderately prosperous society, elimination of absolute poverty, consolidation of CPC power over the military and integration of Hong Kong and Taiwan with mainland, etc.
As he set for his third term, he recently launched a new initiative called “common prosperity for all” Chinese, which is widely reported to be a new policy of redistribution of wealth ending the era of billionaires in the country.
The new policy shift came as the government has mounted unprecedented crackdowns on Alibaba and other top corporate firms from various sectors within the economy, including technology, online education and real estate to tackle widening income inequality, rising debt levels and slowing consumption.
Xie Maosong, a senior researcher with Tsinghua University’s National Strategy Institute, said, this plenum will carry lots of symbolic value for Xi in terms of his status in the party’s history as it looks back at the past 100 years, as the party presses ahead with the next centenary goal.
“Mao was the founder of new China and Deng made it affluent. Xi, who’s overseeing the party at its centenary, will be seen [at the plenum] as the leader who made the party and China strong. It’s important to send the right message to the Chinese people from a historical perspective,” he told the Post.