The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China will take place at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Photo: iStock

Xi Jinping, Chinese President and General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC), is expected to solidify his power as the party’s 19th National Congress is set to kick off on October 18.

The 7th Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of CPC will start on October 11, Xinhua reported. It will be followed by a one-week long party congress on October 18.

More than 200 top party officials will attend 7th Plenary Session while around 2,000 party representatives from different parts of the country will participate in the 19th National Congress of CPC.

After the National Congress, the party will announce the new members of the Standing Committee of the Central Political Bureau of CPC, or Politburo Standing Committee.

Among the seven current politburo standing committee members, only Xi and Premier Li Keqiang will stay, while the other five will step down and retire, Japanese media Yomiuri Online reported last week, citing unnamed sources. It is unlikely that anti-graft watchdog Wang Qishan, 69, will stay in the standing committee.

Xi originally wanted to keep Wang in the standing committee for one-more term to break the party’s retirement rule, which allows key members to do one more term only if they are 67 or below, political commentator Johnny Lau told Apple Daily. However, such a move, which suits Xi’s plan to extend his term after 2022, may have faced strong opposition internally in the party, Lau said.

Two of Xi’s most trusted subordinates — Chen Min’er, Party Secretary of Chongqing, and Li Zhanshu, Director of the party’s General Office — may be selected as politburo standing committee members, according to Yomiuri Online.

Chen has become a rising star since former Chongqing party secretary Sun Zhengcai, who was dubbed as the next Chinese Premier, stepped down for alleged corruption in July.

Read: Former party official Sun Zhengcai under investigation

Other candidates include Hu Chunhua, Party Secretary of Guangdong, and Wang Yang, Vice Premier. They are both labelled as the so-called “Youth League Faction.”

Shanghai party secretary Han Zhang, who has close ties to former Chinese President Jiang Zemin or the so-called “Shanghai Clique,” may still have a ticket to the politburo standing committee.

Hong Kong media said the internal fight for the standing committee seats will remain intensive over the coming few weeks. But in whatever case, Xi will control at least four votes in the seven-people politburo, Willy Lam Wo-lap was quoted as saying in the Apple Daily report.

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