Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Air Algerie investigation continues

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Dozens of youths trampled to death on Conakry beach

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola death toll tops 700

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

UNRWA official breaks down over Gaza deaths

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults - Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds' (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults - Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds'

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Renault's women drivers ad deemed sexist

Read more

FOCUS

Constitution prohibits Aung San Suu Kyi to run for president

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

War and Markets, with Steen Jakobsen, Chief Economist at Saxo Bank

Read more

  • Israel and Hamas 72-hour ceasefire begins

    Read more

  • 24 killed¸ 271 injured in South Taiwan gas blast

    Read more

  • Argentinian markets plummet following default

    Read more

  • Interactive: France’s new plan to counter jihadism in Africa

    Read more

  • French Jews speak of growing fear in Paris amid Gaza conflict

    Read more

  • Video: Inside Hamas ‘terror’ tunnels in Gaza

    Read more

  • Sierra Leone declares state of emergency over spread of Ebola

    Read more

  • Investigators reach MH17 site amid 24-hour ceasefire

    Read more

  • France remembers murdered socialist hero Jean Jaurès

    Read more

  • Air France ground workers to strike on August 2

    Read more

  • Scores feared dead in India landslide

    Read more

  • Russia ordered to pay further €1.9 billion to Yukos shareholders

    Read more

  • Iraq's Christians: Nowhere to Run?

    Read more

  • Russia defiant as US, EU unveil 'phase three' sanctions

    Read more

  • US House votes to sue Obama for over-reaching his powers

    Read more

Asia-pacific

China to open Communist Party leadership congress

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-11-07

China's ruling Communist Party will open a congress on Thursday that is expected to see Vice President Xi Jinping replace President Hu Jintao as party chief in a once-per-decade transition of power.

China's ruling Communist Party said Wednesday its highly anticipated congress would last for one week, as it signalled Vice President Xi Jinping had moved closer to taking the reins of power.

Xi was tapped for a key post overseeing the five-yearly congress that opens Thursday in Beijing. At the meeting, he is expected to replace President Hu Jintao as party chief in a once-a-decade power transition.

"The preparatory meeting passed the appointment of Comrade Xi Jinping as secretary general of the congress," said Cai Mingzhao, official spokesman for the party congress.

The move likely signals that Xi's much-expected ascent to the country's top leadership post is on track.

Xi, 59, has been number two to Hu since 2008. His likely appointment to head the all-powerful party at the congress's close will set the stage for his promotion to president of the world's most populous nation, expected next March.

Xi and the rest of the future leadership take the reins amid growing pressure for the party to reform to curb rising corruption and spur economic growth, which recently slowed to its lowest quarterly rate since 2009.

"(The congress) will be one of great importance, when China is in a crucial stage of building a modern and prosperous society in all respects, taking on reform and opening up, and accelerating the transformation of the growth pattern," Cai said at a press briefing.

He added that the congress would close on November 14 and confirmed that a new set of leaders to the party's Politburo Standing Committee -- China's top decision-making body -- would be unveiled at the end of the congress as per tradition every 10 years.

The party had not previously said how long the sensitive meeting would last.

Eight out of 10 Chinese want political reform and two-thirds feel the government should face greater public scrutiny, according to a survey of residents of major cities published on Wednesday in the state-run Global Times newspaper.

Elements in the ruling party are widely believed to favour some form of political reform to bolster its legitimacy, but the exact nature of any internal debate remains unknown due to the secrecy surrounding its affairs.

The lead-up to the congress has been tense due to the months-long controversy over former senior leader Bo Xilai.

Bo, the former party boss in the southwestern mega-city of Chongqing, was once seen as a candidate for promotion to the party's top echelons.

But he was brought down earlier this year by murder allegations against his wife and faces trial for abuse of power and other charges in a case that political observers say has revealed divisions among the senior leadership.

Of the Bo case, Cai said "the lessons have been extremely profound."

He offered no details on the political impact within the party but said Bo's downfall reflected "the strong resolve and unequivocal attitude of the party to uphold integrity and fight corruption."

Preparations for the closed-door power handover come as Americans re-elected President Barack Obama in the full glare of the world's media, prompting pungent comment by Chinese Internet users at their own lack of democracy.

"Why has the Chinese people's interest in the US presidential election reached a new high? Because the Chinese people have given up their own affairs... they are not allowed to handle them!" said a posting on a microblog service run by Internet giant Tencent.

Authorities in Beijing have tightened up security ahead of the congress and deployed a huge security presence, especially around the Great Hall of the People, the Stalinist edifice next to Tiananmen Square where it will be held.

Hundreds of activists have been put under house arrest, rights groups have said, while taxi drivers have been told to lock their back windows apparently to prevent passengers from throwing out flyers with political messages.

(AFP)

Date created : 2012-11-07

  • CHINA

    Chinese premier family threatens legal action over NYT report

    Read more

  • CHINA

    China blocks NYT sites after report on premier's wealth

    Read more

  • CHINA

    Disgraced Bo Xilai expelled from China's parliament

    Read more

COMMENT(S)