The 19th Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has held its 7th and final plenary session before the regime’s 20th Party Congress scheduled to begin on Sunday, Oct. 16.
According to the communique from the meeting, the Plenum lasted four days and concluded on Wednesday, Oct. 12., CCP general secretary Xi Jinping gave an “important speech”; the Chinese leader also presented a work report, the state-run Central China Television (CCTV) reported.
A total of 358 full and alternate members of the Central Committee were present for the 7th Plenum; members of the Party’s discipline inspection committee and “leading officials of related departments” also attended, per CCTV.
Plenary sessions are held by the CCP’s Central Committee once or twice a year according to current norms. Important decisions, such as constitutional amendments, may be decided at the plenums. The results of the conclaves also offer important important signals relating to the political standing of various Chinese officials and the authority and prestige of Xi himself.
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According to CCTV, Xi gave “explanatory remarks” on a draft report by the Central Committee to the future 20th National Congress of the CCP, while Wang Huning, a senior leading official tasked with ideological policy, offered explanations on a draft amendment to the Party’s constitution. The Central Committee voted in favor of the drafts.
Xinhua, the state-run mouthpiece, commented that the CCP has “prioritized national interests and put internal politics first, maintained strategic patience, displayed fighting spirit, fought to safeguard national dignity and core interests.”
According to Xinhua, the Party counts among its achievements its “proper management” of the risks and challenges brought about by the Ukraine crisis, the “continued struggle against separatism and foreign interference” and tight implementation of COVID curbs.
The 20th Party Congress is expected to see Xi Jinping take a norm-breaking third term as head of the Chinese regime and place more trusted officials in key positions as part of his long-term effort to consolidate power.
“Though the Congress will provide Xi a boost in his decade-long efforts at power consolidation at a time when Beijing faces a maelstrom of crises, his strengthened position in the regime will do little to help resolve the deep-rooted and ever-expanding challenges facing Communist China and its leader,” analysts at SinoInsider, a New York-based risk consultancy, wrote in a recent article.
Reuters contributed to this report.