The 20th Party Congress is Underway: Will Xi’s Men Dominate the Next Politburo?

The Communist Party of China (CCP) convened its 20th Party Congress on Sunday (Xinhua, October 16). When the proceedings conclude, a new Politburo and Politburo Standing Committee (PBSC) will be revealed (China Brief, September 20). General Secretary Xi Jinping is expected to continue his third term as party chief and paramount leader and will also retain the key role of Central Military Commission (CMC) Chairman. Although the continuation of Xi’s tenure undermines former supreme leader Deng Xiaoping’s efforts to institutionalize the CCP’s top-leadership succession, the unwritten rule of “seven up, eight down” (七上八下, qi shang, ba xia) still heavily affects the selection process of the other twenty-four politburo members (China Times, October 19). Within the Politburo, those who have reached the age of 68 are required to retire from their positions and duties. With several PBSC and Politburo members headed for retirement, many are wondering who will take their place.To get more news about 20th party congress china, you can visit shine news official website.

Since the beginning of the 19th Party Congress in late 2017, China has faced numerous domestic and international challenges. Under the ruling CCP, the Party-state has grappled with reducing the wealth gap and eliminating extreme poverty; rooting out monopolies in the technology industry; cracking down on official corruption; managing the needs of an aging population and numerous other economic and social challenges. In 2021, the overleveraged property sector, which was epitomized by Evergrande Group’s debt struggles and the Henan bank default protest, forced the CCP to take extensive measures to stave off an economic implosion (China Brief, September 20).

The liquidation problem that happened earlier this year have drawn the CCP’s attention to the risk of potential financial turmoil. Last but not least, the “Zero-Covid” policy has forced cities and provinces to go through strict quarantines and lockdowns, disrupting supply chains and resulting in underperforming economic progress. (China Times, September 16; Voice of America, September 18).

China has also experienced growing pushback from the international community due to the human rights situations in Xinjiang and Hong Kong, as well as Beijing’s pressure campaign against Taiwan. Even though China has adopted a “neutral” stance on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the perception in the West is widespread that Beijing has provided Moscow with at least tacit support. Meanwhile, the U.S.-China relationship remains dominated by competition on trade, military, technology and many other areas. Relations soured further when U.S. Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in August.

Since 2021, China had been underscoring the importance of “stability” in all policy areas (Economic Daily, May 25). This emphasis has undoubtedly sought to lay the groundwork for Xi’s third leadership term (The News Lens–FBC2E, March 16). It further explains why most sensitive topics, such as Taiwan, the North Korea nuclear crisis, or even Russia-Ukraine War, are rarely mentioned during sensitive times to prevent international awareness and misinterpretation that would leave China in the spotlight.