The 19th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party is Set for 18 October  Beijing  – The Central Committee’s Political Bureau (Politburo) yesterday chose 18 October for the opening of the 19th Chinese Communist Party Congress.

The 200-strong Central Committee is expected to ratify the date when it meets for its last plenum on 11 October.

“[The congress] will formulate an action plan and set out major policy direction that will meet the demands of the era,” the Politburo said in a statement.

The congress, which is held every five years, is expected to re-elect Xi Jinping as party general secretary for a second five-year term. Xi is likely to get his own political philosophy included in the party’s constitution, placing him on a par with Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, and others.

In announcing the date, Xinhua reported that the congress “will hold high the banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics, be guided with Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the important thought of “Three Represents” [of Jiang Zemin] and the Scientific Outlook on Development [of Hu Jintao], and thoroughly carry out the essence of Xi’s series of important remarks and the new governance concepts, thoughts and strategies of the CPC Central Committee.”

The Congress is also expected approve the list of new Central Committee members, the departure of those who have reached the retirement age, and the expulsion of those who have been investigated and convicted.

Since his election as party secretary in 2012, Xi has embarked on an aggressive anti-corruption campaign, which has led to the indictment of more than 100,000 officials. More than 120 top officials have been convicted, including dozens of generals.

Many analysts suspect that Xi has used the campaign to eliminate rival factions and political enemies and favour his personal friends. Some of the fallen “tigers” include former security tsar Zhou Yongkang and generals Xu Caihou and Guo Boxiong.

As it geared up for the congress, the party has also promoted Xi as the “core” leader, including airing a documentary series on TV praising Xi’s achievements and publishing a book on his experiences as a youth. Wang Zhicheng (AsiaNews)