Coincidentally following a reality show in which corrupt Chinese cadres confessed to their crimes, 370 officials from the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) Central Committee will meet from Monday to Thursday in Beijing for their sixth annual policy meeting.
At the sixth plenum of the 18th CPC Central Committee this week, officials are expected to deliberate on two documents on intra-party discipline, directed at the top levels of government. The South China Morning Post reports that this meeting is also important because it centers on building loyalty to the CPC and (more importantly) Xi Jinping. It might also offer clues as to who will take up government leadership before the party congress next year, in what will be a once-in-decade shakeup.
In an official statement leading up to the meeting, President Xi Jinping emphasized the need for loyalty to the party center. Indeed, this meeting occurs after a widespread anti-corruption campaign that “has punished over a million officials over nearly four years” and has replaced more than a dozen officials with those close to President Xi, the Wall Street Journal notes.
This meeting is an opportunity for Xi Jinping to counter opposition to his rule. Xi has already endured criticism in his own party. In March, an open letter signed by “loyal Communist Party members” calling on Xi to resign was published online. In May, Premier Li Keqiang disagreed with President Xi’s economic policies, leading some to speculate on the unity of the top leadership. Then, in June, the Propaganda Department was censured for not being strict enough in undertaking its ideological work.
As Xi Jinping prepares for another five-year term, meeting observers also look for clues as to who will take up leadership next in the party. Late next year, Xi Jinping will have an opportunity to put those most loyal to him in positions of power in the party. This meeting is a perfect opportunity for him to build a team that will support his endeavors, such as stabilizing China’s economy.
Looks like it’s going to be another interesting week. Or as interesting as Chinese politics get anyhow.
Just now BBC World TV (inside China) Stephen on political meeting: "Well the interesting thing about the Plenum…" [SCREEN GOES TO BLACK]
— Stephen McDonell (@StephenMcDonell) October 24, 2016
By Abby Ordillas
[Images via Xinhua]