China’s Communist Party begins 20th national summit

Economic, political stability, continuity, generational change to be focus of 2-day summit, says expert.

China’s Communist Party begins 20th national summit

The 20th national congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) will open Sunday in Beijing with 2,296 delegates from across the country who have started to assemble in the capital.

The summit is held every five years where party delegates decide future policies and back new leadership roles.

China expert Einar Tangen said the main themes of the national summit “will be continuity and generational change.”

The CPC boasts more than 96 party members.

“Continuity, as China experiences economic and political headwinds, due to COVID-19, conflicts, inflation, recession, and an increasingly hostile geopolitical situation. There is very little support for changing horses in the midst of the turbulent tsunami of events confronting China and the world,” Tangen, a senior fellow at the Beijing-based Taihe Institute, told Anadolu Agency via email from the Chinese capital.

The quintessential summit is being held when the US sees China as its major rival and is mulling steps to liquidate dependency on Chinese supply chains. The two nations hold the world’s top two economies, respectively, and they have strong militaries.

It also comes on the heels of renewed tensions in Taiwan Strait as Washington flew US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on an unannounced trip to the self-ruled island which Beijing saw as the biggest provocation from the West.

Party report on economic, political situation

Founded on July 23, 1921, the CPC, under the leadership of Mao Zedong, won the Chinese Civil War against the Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalist Party), and in 1949, Mao proclaimed the establishment of the People's Republic of China (PRC).

Soon after, the Kuomintang migrated to an island across the Taiwan Strait, in southern China. Home to 24 million people, the island, officially known as the Republic of China, is identified as Taiwan across the globe and has independent diplomatic relations with 14 nations.

Beijing deems the self-ruled island as its own and has not ruled out the use of force to unify it with the mainland, with one nation, two systems, as an option on the table.

Tangen said Beijing’s primary goal “is to achieve the right balance of government and markets which maintains political stability while encouraging innovation and change.”

“Looking back over the last 10 years, China’s success has been its ability to plan, implement, and adjust its economic and political approaches in the face of natural and man-made obstacles,” he said, noting China’s boom in domestic consumption as well as a rise in exports.

He said the CPC work report to be presented during the national congress “will be an important indicator of how the party views the current economic and political situation and what priorities they intend to follow.”

The party report was approved at the 7th plenary session of the Xi Jinping-led Central Committee of the CPC last Wednesday, which lasted four days and was attended by 199 full members and 159 alternate members.

It had been in session in the capital since last Sunday.

The Central Committee also approved an “amendment” to the CPC Constitution and established a “core position” and “guiding role” for Xi. No further details about the amendment have been available.

“Keep in mind, Chinese policies are glacial, not volcanic, so it is more likely to be about nuance than directional shifts,” said Tangen.

Generational change, focus on personnel issues

Xi has steered China to become the world's second-largest economy and the country has achieved nearly equal military prowess since he has been at the helm since 2012 as the seventh president of the world’s largest populated nation.

He also holds the Central Committee’s secretary-general position and is the chairman of China's Central Military Commission.

Acknowledging that “most of the focus will be on personnel issues” during the summit, Tangen said: “Generational change will also be a priority, as Beijing's long-term plans require new generations of leadership to be prepared.”

It is highly anticipated that Xi, 69, will gain a precedent-breaking third-term leadership post at the summit which is set to begin at 10 a.m. in Beijing (0200GMT).

The next generation of foreign policy leaders and the roles of several officials are expected to be debated during the summit.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 16 Ekim 2022, 19:22

Hüseyin Demir

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