From October 11-14th, the Party’s Central Committee convened in Beijing for its Seventh Plenum, the last assembly of the elite body’s roughly 200 members before the conclusion of its five-year term at the 19th Party Congress. The closed-door gathering saw the Chinese leadership iron out its final preparations for the quinquennial political transition.
The top agenda items included reviewing three major draft documents, namely the political report that President Xi will deliver on behalf of the Central Committee on the Party Congress’ opening day, the work report of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), the Party’s anti-corruption watchdog, and a proposal to revise the Party Constitution, as well as discussing final personnel appointments for the leadership that will serve throughout President Xi’s second term in office.
Following the conclusion of the Seventh Plenum, the Central Committee released a communiqué outlining the key outcomes of the four-day gathering. The three main documents were all endorsed and will now be submitted to the Party Congress for deliberation and ultimate approval. While state-run media announced in September that the Party Constitution will be amended to include President Xi’s guiding political theories, the manner in which they will be incorporated – particularly whether the president’s name will be inscribed in the Party’s charter – still remains unclear.
Of particular note, the communiqué emphasized that China has gained and consolidated “crushing momentum” in its fight against corruption.[1] Having emerged as a permanent fixture of its first five years in office, the Xi administration’s extensive internal clean-up campaign of the Party clearly looks set to endure throughout the president’s second term. In addition, the communiqué also unveiled the elevation of 11 new full members to the Central Committee, all of whom had been serving as alternate members.
Beijing has followed a long and winding track toward the Party Congress for many months now. The Seventh Plenum marked the last station before the senior leadership disembarks at the political transition that will define China’s roadmap and new management team surrounding President Xi through 2022. It only happens once every half-decade, and it all begins on October 18th – businesses need to get ready for the second chapter of the Xi era.
[1] “Communiqué: China witnesses ‘deep, fundamental’ changes in past five years,” Xinhua News Agency, 15 October 2017.
Photo credit: Kristoffer Trolle via /  CC BY