China kicks off 20th Communist Party Congress
The Communist Party of China (CPC) on Sunday held its 20th National Congress, with President Xi Jinping presiding over what will be a historic event in the long-entrenched party’s history. The congress is the country’s rubber stamp for Xi’s rule, a moment when he will consolidate control over the party and the country and build the consensus of the new era for the future of his regime.
Under the leadership of President Xi, the ruling party has transformed its core economic policies: from the country’s first trillion-dollar stimulus package to the development of its own private sector; from the country’s massive Belt and Road Initiative to the country’s new “Three Gorges” mega infrastructure project. For the first time, however, the party will hold its first formal meeting as a body in the age of Trump – and he will not be in attendance.
Xi’s term will also be marked by another dramatic event: the annual Communist Party Congress, which will start on September 7 – or, to put it another way, the very first time a major political event will take place in the Communist Party after Xi’s ascension to power.
It has become a tradition for Beijing to hold a party congress when the new Communist Party chairperson takes charge: the last congress was held in 1980, and the first before Deng Xiaoping’s ascendancy in 1976 followed just three years before that. But the congress will come amid a period of unprecedented political instability since, as many point out, since the country’s return to the world stage after the end of the Cold War in 1989.
Xi’s new term has also seen Xi come under sharp criticism for his handling of the economy, which has been plagued by a series of financial scandals that have brought down the leadership in recent years.
He himself said last week that the economic problems have been resolved