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China's Communist Party to hold major meeting in October, reshuffle of some leaders expected

China's Communist Party to hold major meeting in October, reshuffle of some leaders expected

China's ruling Communist Party will hold a major meeting in October that will set the national agenda for the next five years amid the challenge of staging the Olympics and renew the tenure of President Hu Jintao as party leader.
The twice-a-decade meeting of leaders of the world's largest political party comes as China faces increased media attention ahead of the Summer Games and rising concerns over worsening pollution and the safety of Chinese exports.
The announcement late Tuesday had been expected, but will set off another round of speculation of political changes in China.
The country has seen nearly double-digit yearly economic growth since the last party congress in 2002. But the party has also seen increased pressure on its leadership over stubborn rural poverty, corruption and a widening gap between rich and poor.
The changes at the top of the party are also expected to give the first indication of possible successors to Hu, who is to step down as party chief in 2012 after 10 years in power.
Hu is not expected to face any direct challenges at the meetings, which start Oct. 15. But it is still not known if he can choose his successor, or if that will be done in consensus with other leaders.
Hu was selected as secretary general of the Communist Party at the last congress, replacing Jiang Zemin. It is the most powerful position in China.
The Communist Party was established in July 1921 with about 50 delegates, including Mao Zedong. It now has 73 million members, although about only 2,217 will take part in the congress.
The statement said the congress would elect a new Central Committee, whose 200 or so members include the country's top leaders.
A portion of the Central Committee makes up the Politburo, which is led by the party's all-powerful Standing Committee.
Several of the Standing Committee's eight members _ a ninth died recently _ will be replaced at the congress, although it isn't known which ones or even how many members the new Standing Committee will have.
Steve Tsang, an expert on Chinese politics at Britain's Oxford University, said he expected four of the Standing Committee's eight members to be replaced, one of whom would be Hu's successor and another a future premier.
However, it would likely remain unclear which one would emerge as Hu's successor, leading to possibly years of competition among them.
In terms of policy, Tsang said the party will most likely continue its emphasis on deepening economic reform while maintaining tight political control. While the Olympics will be a consideration, he said it was unlikely that any major changes would be enacted in response.
However, China's product safety woes could take a prominent position in the proceedings, he said.


Updated : 2021-04-13 22:43 GMT+08:00