The Chinese Communist party will convene its most important gathering of the decade in mid-October, setting the scene for leader Xi Jinping to secure leadership positions that will likely give him an unprecedented third term in power, reports the Financial Times. At its 20th congress, which state media announced on Tuesday would open on October 16, the Party is expected to reappoint Xi as its leader and as head of its Central Military Commission.
The 69-year-old Xi’s leadership is likely to be further cemented by his reappointment as state president at the annual session of China’s parliament early next year. While many China-watchers believe Xi’s third term is already a fait accompli, he is expected to use the five-yearly congress to consolidate his position through appointments to the party’s top bodies.
The congress will be an opportunity for Xi to promote close allies and trusted confidantes to positions on the Politburo’s seven-person standing committee, the highest echelon of Chinese power.