Next week, the Communist Party of China will commence its 19th National Party Congress, where its leadership and policy agenda for the next five years will be announced.
The deals done at this high-stakes meeting will have long-term international implications, as President Xi Jinping consolidates his power against a backdrop of China’s growing assertiveness on the world stage.
The party has close to 90 million members, making it the world’s largest ruling party, and is run by a Central Committee of around 200 members. But this committee only meets once a year, and most of the actual governing is done by its two smaller executive bodies: the Political Bureau (Politburo) and the Politburo Standing Committee (PSC).
The make-up of all three political bodies will change at the party congress. But what is most important is who is elected onto the Politburo Standing Committee, which is China’s highest body.
It is almost certain that Xi will be confirmed as general secretary for his second five-year term and retain his position on the PSC, but not much else is known.
The process is highly secretive. And with five of the seven current members of the PSC due to retire, there is a lot of uncertainty and speculation as to who will step onto the stage with Xi as the new members of the PSC.
The Conversation asked Ryan Manuel, AsiaGlobal Fellow at the University of Hong Kong, to help explain this opaque event and its implications for China and the rest of the world.
Special thanks to UTS postgraduate.futures for assisting with the production of the video.