China's Communist Party elite to meet in October

Beijing (AFP) –


An elite group from China's ruling Communist Party will meet in October after a long hiatus to discuss ways to "modernise governance" and improve the country's socialist system, state media said Friday.

The plenum of the party's Central Committee is a closed-door meeting where the country's roadmap for the coming year is discussed.

The October meeting will "study several important issues on the upholding and perfecting of the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics and the promotion of the modernisation of state governance", official news agency Xinhua said, without offering details.

The last conclave was held more than a year and a half ago, and since then experts have said the unusual delay was likely due to differences among the party's top leaders on how Beijing was handling the ongoing trade war with the United States, as China's economy also slowed.

China has also been rattled by massive pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong which have challenged its rule over the semi-autonomous city.

Xinhua did not specify the dates for the meeting in October, the same month China will mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the communist state.

The last plenum, in February 2018, focused on a reform plan for state institutions, giving even more power to the party.

The one before that approved the scrapping of presidential term limits, allowing President Xi Jinping to stay in office for life.