The 19th Party Congress: Personnel Changes and Policy Guidelines

Kjeld Erik Brødsgaard, Nis Høyrup Christensen

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    Abstract

    The 19th Congress of the Communist Party of China was held in Beijing October 18-24 2017. Leading up to the congress there was intense speculation concerning the new line-up of the most important leadership bodies of the
    CPC: the Politburo and the Politburo Standing Committee. Would the Politburo Standing Committee (PSC) continue to consist of seven members, or would it be expanded to nine members, as was the case during Jiang Zemin's era, or
    would it instead be reduced to five members, as was the case during the late 1980s? Would unwritten rules such as '68 down, 67 up' be observed? Or would veteran leaders such as Wang Qishan (69) continue to serve on the committee?
    Would Xi Jinping pack the Politburo and the PSC with his own close allies, or would he try to achieve a factional balance observing the interests of former leaders such as Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao? There was also much speculation
    concerning Xi Jinping's status. Would the 'Chairman of Everything' have his name and thought written into the CPC Constitution alongside that of Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping and ahead of his two immediate predecessors?
    Xi Jinping's report to the Party congress was also awaited with much interest. Such a report is usually a long document setting out the Party's priorities and policy objectives for the next five-year period. Would Xi Jinping's report signal new policy initiatives, and would it outline strategic guidelines reaching beyond 2022? This article examines these questions
    and assesses the future impact of the Party congress on Chinese politics.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalCopenhagen Journal of Asian Studies
    Volume35
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)79-97
    ISSN1395-4199
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

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