Chinese Communist Party leaders begin key meeting, Latest World News - The New Paper

Chinese Communist Party leaders begin key meeting

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BEIJING: China's Communist Party elite kicked off a key meeting in Beijing yesterday, as the country's leadership faces pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, a protracted trade war and a slowing economy.

The Fourth Plenum of the party's Central Committee is a closed-door meeting of high-ranking officials where the country's road map and future direction is discussed.

According to official news agency Xinhua, President Xi Jinping yesterday delivered a work report on behalf of the Central Committee's Political Bureau, and "explained a draft document" of Central Committee decisions on "some major issues".

These included how to "uphold and improve the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics and advance the modernisation of China's system and capacity for governance," Xinhua added.

The term governance is about "strengthening the Party's control over all governing organs," explained Mr Jude Blanchette, an expert on Chinese politics at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

The likely outcome of this week's meetings "will be that the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) is more firmly entrenched at the core of political and governing power", he wrote on Friday.

Beijing-based political analyst Hua Po said the Fourth Plenum may also result in a document that criticises past policies by former leader Deng Xiaoping - known for his market-oriented economic reforms - to elevate Mr Xi's own status.

It is a practice that Chinese leaders, including the country's founder Mao Zedong, have carried out so past policies fall in line with their own principles, he added.

The key conclave will runtill Thursday, and will be the first since February last year.

Many of the country's most significant policies have been announced after plenum meetings, with the last one focused on a reform plan for state institutions, giving even more power to the Party.

The one before that approved the scrapping of presidential term limits, allowing Mr Xi to stay in office for life. - AFP