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In the US election’s shadow, Chinese leaders try to define next decade

The Chinese Communist Party’s top decision makers are expected to formalise Beijing’s priorities for the next five years in a series of closed-door meetings that will establish protections for the local economy, expand social welfare and further concentrate power in the hands of President Xi Jinping.

The closely guarded plenum between 205 powerbrokers in the party’s Central Committee is taking place in the shadow of the US election but its ramifications will extend beyond the term of the next US President. The Party will finalise its 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025), and its “2035 vision” during the discussions this week.

Party officials applaud as Chinese President Xi Jinping, standing, delivers his speech on the 70th anniversary of the Chinese army entering North Korea to resist the US army.

Party officials applaud as Chinese President Xi Jinping, standing, delivers his speech on the 70th anniversary of the Chinese army entering North Korea to resist the US army.Credit:AP

It is the third major policy push from Xi in as many weeks after two key celebrations, the 40th anniversary of the city of Shenzhen and 70th anniversary of the Korean War were used by the party to ramp up its pursuit of socialist modernisation, stir nationalist sentiment and fend off foreign threats.

The 205 members of the Central Committee and 171 alternate members are selected from more than 2300 members of the Party Congress. The Central Committee elects the seven highest ranking members of the party to the Politburo Standing Committee and the General Secretary, also known as the President, making it the largest influential decision making body in China.

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