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China’s Communist Party has elected delegates for congress

AFP . Beijing
26 Sep 2022 00:00:00 | Update: 26 Sep 2022 00:47:14
China’s Communist Party has elected delegates for congress
Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with representatives of model civil servants during an award ceremony at Great Hall of the People in Beijing –Courtesy Photo

China’s Communist Party said Sunday that it had elected all the delegates attending a key political meeting starting October 16, where President Xi Jinping is expected to secure an unprecedented third term.

The twice-in-a-decade conclave will also see a shuffle of personnel on the party’s powerful decision-making body, the 25-member Politburo.

“Each electoral unit across the country convened a party congress or party representative meeting and elected 2,296 delegates to the 20th Party Congress,” state broadcaster CCTV said.

The delegates must adhere to Xi’s political ideology in addition to the party constitution, CCTV said.

The representatives include women, ethnic minority party members and those specialising in various fields, such as economics, science and sports, CCTV said.

The congress in the capital Beijing comes as Xi faces significant political headwinds, including an ailing economy, deteriorating relations with the United States and a strict zero-Covid policy that has accelerated China’s inward turn from the world.

Choreographed exercise

The congress is the most important date on China’s political calendar. It offers signposts on the direction the world’s second-largest economy will take in the near term and the extent of the sway that Xi has over the party with millions of members.

The nearly 2,300 delegates representing all provinces and regions will engage in a highly choreographed exercise to pick members of the party’s Central Committee of around 200 members.

The Central Committee will then vote for the 25-person Politburo and its all-powerful Standing Committee -- China’s highest leadership body and apex of power, currently comprising seven people.

Voting is mostly a formality -- the pecking order of the Politburo and its Standing Committee is likely to have been decided well in advance. The overall duration of the congress is not yet clear.

Xi’s decade-long tenure has seen crackdowns on corruption within the party -- which analysts say served to take down his political rivals -- as well as the crushing of a democracy movement in Hong Kong and strict lockdowns on cities in the name of curbing the coronavirus.