《漫话十九大》Episode13: ​What is the CPC National Congress?

Delegates from around China gather in Beijing at the Great Hall of the People on Tiananmen Square for a week every five years: it’s time for the National Congress of the Communist Party of China!

This year, some 2,300 delegates – who have been elected specifically for the event – are expected to attend the 19th CPC National Congress.

The 11 CPC national congresses since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 have taken place in Beijing.

What do the delegates do? 

The National Congress sets the tone for the development of both the Party and the country over the following five years.

The delegates will have a heavy workload during the week: hearing and examining reports by the Party's Central Committee and the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection; discussing and deciding major issues concerning the Party; and reviewing the Constitution of the Communist Party of China.

And who gets elected? 

Elections are held for the Central Committee – one of the top political bodies in the CPC, which currently has 205 members and 171 alternate members – and for the 130-seat Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

The outgoing Central Committee determines how many delegates will attend the next National Congress, five years down the line, and decides on the procedure for their election. For instance, in 2012, the Central Committee decided that this year’s event would have 30 more delegates, raising the total number from 2,270 to 2,300.

The new Central Committee will also elect members of its Political Bureau and members of the Political Bureau Standing Committee, as well as its general secretary.

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