This is how Xi Jinping’s Party Congress works

This is how Xi Jinping's Party Congress works

DChinese writer Hu Minzhi writes a poem for the 20th century party congress Written by Communist Party. “More than a billion people are waiting for the wind,” it says. “Government officials are waiting, entrepreneurs and common people are also waiting. We don’t know whether the wind will come from the east or the west. Will the wind go forward or backward.” His sarcastic lines were quickly taken off the Internet and the writer was called “for tea” by the police.

Frederick Boges

Political correspondent for China, North Korea and Mongolia.

The wind is blowing forward or backward can already be seen this Sunday morning. then it will be Xi Jinping As general secretary of the party in the Great Hall of the People, presenting his work reports to about 2,300 delegates. They can be expected to provide basic guidelines for the next five years. His speech at the last party Congress lasted for three hours and 23 minutes. In it, Xi heralded the start of a “new era” and declared that China would “move closer to the center (of the world).” These were his domestic and foreign policy ambitions.

This time, the population is primarily concerned with one question: When will the strict zero-Covid policy be relaxed? Till a few days back, everyone was saying that this would happen immediately after the party Congress. The underlying assumption was that the strategy was being maintained purely to save Xi Jinping’s face in front of the Party Congress and because party cadres across the country wanted to show their loyalty. However, in the last few days, the party’s hopes have been dashed. A top government adviser said on state television that there was no timeline for the inauguration.

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Foreign policy expertise is lost

In Xi’s speech, business representatives will look between the lines for clues as to whether heads of state and party leaders want to continue patronizing the private sector and how they want to implement their concept of wealth redistribution. Hints of future Taiwan policy, relations with the US and the role of the military can also be expected. Many of the routes will be similar to the previous work report. It gets interesting when it doesn’t.

Zero-Covid enforced: Testing being done at a hotel in Beijing.


Zero-Covid enforced: Testing being done at a hotel in Beijing.
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Image: AP


The political climax comes on the seventh and final day of assembly week, when the new Politburo Standing Committee, China’s most powerful body, presents itself to the public. Xi Jinping is likely to be the first to take the stage, confirming that he will remain in office for at least five years. Who will replace the members who are retiring due to age are eagerly waiting. From this one can tell whether Xi was able to outdo his closest followers or whether he had to make concessions when filling individual positions. The order in which men take the stage will tell who li keqiang May succeed him as prime minister in March. The head of government is traditionally responsible for economic policy, which is why business representatives are hoping for a candidate who is closer to the private sector. However, in the past, Xi has also taken away authority over economic policy and sidelined Premier Li.

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