At Its Secretive Plenum, China’s Communist Party Looks Inward

At Its Secretive Plenum, China’s Communist Party Looks Inward
Chinese President Xi Jinping walks past floral wreaths at the Monument to the People’s Heroes during a ceremony to mark Martyr’s Day at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, Sept. 30, 2019 (AP photo by Mark Schiefelbein).

Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, WPR Newsletter and Engagement Editor Benjamin Wilhelm curates the week’s top news and expert analysis on China.

It is one of the most important events on China’s political calendar: the full meeting of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee, known as the party plenum. President Xi Jinping convened the four-day meeting in Beijing this week amid ongoing political unrest in Hong Kong, slowing economic growth and a protracted trade war with the United States. Yet rather than deal with those outside challenges, the Central Committee is expected to look inward, focusing on weaknesses within the Communist Party itself.

At the highly secretive gathering, 200-plus members from the government, military and state-owned enterprises are supposed to discuss improving governance and “perfecting” China’s socialist system. Details are kept secret until the meeting closes.

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