The 20th National Congress (NC) of the Communist Party of China (CPC) opened on October 16 with a two-hour speech by the current General Secretary Xi Jinping, also President of China. NC is the most important political gathering in the five-year political cycle of the CPC. This time, the NC meeting is being attended by 2296 delegates representing all provincial organisations and non-CPC parties, among others. The five-yearly NC gathering has a defining impact on the future course of China’s domestic policies and external outlook.
National Congress: Choosing New Top Leaders
The foremost task of NC is to elect new members of the CPC Central Committee. From 2296 delegates, 205 will be chosen to join the party’s central committee through voting among the delegates. Nearly 170 alternate members will also be elected. After that a meeting of the new Central Committee will be convened to elect a new 25 member CPC Politburo, seven-member Politburo Standing Committee, and the General Secretary of the CPC. The seven-member Politburo Standing Committee is the apex of political power and decision-making in CPC and China’s governance system.