China's top leaders to meet on Nov 8 ahead of Party Congress

BEIJING (BLOOMBERG) – The Communist Party of China will convene for the first time in more than a year on Nov 8, state media said, a meeting expected to lay the ground for extending President Xi Jinping’s term as leader.

The party’s decision-making Central Committee will meet until Nov 11, the official Xinhua News Agency reported, citing a statement by the Politburo. Such plenary sessions are typically the most important event on China’s political calendar, bringing together about 400 state leaders, ministers, military chiefs, provincial bosses and top academics.

While China announced in August that the plenum would be held in November, it had not announced the exact dates.

The plenum will review and adopt a resolution on the party’s major achievements and historic experiences during its first centenary, said Xinhua. A draft resolution has been shared with unidentified people within and outside the party, the report added, noting that revisions will be made based on their feedback before the meeting.

While China’s key leaders from Mao Zedong to Hu Jintao were name-checked, a special emphasis was reserved for the achievements of Mr Xi, including the unprecedented unity of the party, military and people, as well as consolidation of the country’s status as a global power.

The closed-door session – normally held at the military-run Jingxi Hotel – will adopt policies ahead of a larger party congress next year where a reshuffle of top positions is expected.

While such Central Committee gatherings can take up a variety of economic and social matters, meetings held at this point in the party’s five-year cycle have historically focused on issues of power and political structure.

The key agenda item of the upcoming meeting will be reviewing the major achievements of the party and its historical experiences in the 100 years since its founding, Xinhua reported in August.

“Through such reflection on its history, the whole party should fulfil its original aspiration and founding mission more firmly and consciously, and better promote socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era,” the Politburo said, citing a key slogan of Mr Xi.

That wording has led some analysts to speculate that the party could make a rare “historical resolution” that could have significant political consequences.

The party previously issued such documents in 1945 under Mao and in 1981 under Deng Xiaoping, with the latter resolution acknowledging that the decade-long Cultural Revolution was “initiated and led by” Mao and “led to domestic turmoil and brought catastrophe”.

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