China kicks off 20th Communist Party Congress in Beijing
Chinese leader Xi Jinping addressed the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on Sunday, which is usually the first gathering of the party’s top leaders after the new year.
The Chinese Communist Party Congress is the top decision-making body at the highest levels of the party, which was established in 1951. It is organized on the basis of a “one-man-one-vote” constitution, which means that all positions in the party are “exclusively reserved for the Communist Party of China’s Central Committee,” according to the party’s constitution.
Xi Jinping has been president of the party since March 2013, and is taking over the role of the party’s general secretary. Last year, he played a key role in the party’s approval of a new constitution, which gave the party greater control of China’s political system.
Xi is also president of the 12-member Politburo Standing Committee, the highest and most powerful body at the party.
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A strong majority favors changing the constitution to allow more changes to party leadership, while the opposition opposes major changes in the party’s structure, according to a poll conducted by the state-run Xinhua News Agency Monday. The survey of 1,872 Chinese citizens with a voting age of no more than 30 years, shows that more than half favor a change to allow a larger number of officials to serve on the Politburo Standing Committee, although this option is opposed by 53%. The rest are undecided.
A quarter of those asked said they had received money from China’s government to vote for Communist Party leaders, while 7% said they had been approached by Chinese officials, according to the poll.
The Central Committee’s political and economic work force has grown by more than a fifth over the last two years, with the overall size of the party workforce at 611,000 employees, compared with 520,000 in the same period last year, according to the party’s