Xi position will get stronger at upcoming China’s Communist Party Congress

Xi position will get stronger at upcoming China’s Communist Party Congress


Xi position will get stronger at upcoming China’s Communist Party Congress

As for the congress’s international agenda, it is said that “no surprises can be expected there”

Chinese leader Xi Jinping will strengthen his positions and will be re-elected at the upcoming 20th Congress of China’s Communist Party that will basically focus on internal problems and discuss the issue of Taiwan without any subsequent radical actions, experts polled by TASS said on Friday.

“The key issue will be who will enter the party’s leadership and this will immediately indicate what economic policy China perceives for itself. Obviously, we can expect a replacement of the Chinese premier. Xi Jinping will strengthen his positions at the Congress, the bloc of people dealing with ideology will be reinforced and ideology will generally begin to play a greater role in Chinese politics than the economy did before,” said Alexey Maslov, director of the Institute of Asian and African Countries at Moscow State University and Valdai International Discussion Club expert.

The expert said he was certain that the Congress would state the fact of “China’s huge breakthrough in terms of openness, economic growth and respect for the country.” In his opinion, Beijing will also express its concern over global instability and urge to solve problems by peaceful means.

“Of course, it will also be interesting for us to see how the current political moment will be characterized, in particular, with regards to Russia, the developments in Ukraine and in Europe as a whole and how relations with the United States will be characterized and whether the US will still be called a strategic partner or designated as an opponent engaged in destroying China’s economic concept,” the expert went on to say.

“I believe that China generally won’t outline any clear view of the role of Russia as such and will only say that everything should be solved solely through peace negotiations,” Maslov suggested.

The analyst said that he did not expect any harsh statements on the Taiwan situation. In his opinion, the congress will again state that Taiwan is an invariable part of China and “there is no other solution to the problem but the return of Taiwan to the jurisdiction of the PRC.”

Focus on internal problems

The 20th Congress of China’s Communist Party will mostly focus on the country’s domestic problems that “have accumulated in quite a large amount,” said Andrey Kortunov, director general of the Russian Council on International Affairs.

“I think that in view of the current circumstances at the moment, China will still focus on internal problems and there are a lot of them: aftershocks from COVID-19 have not been overcome, there is a certain slowdown in economic growth rates, the financial sector still faces difficulties and the struggle against corruption continues,” the expert explained.

In this situation, the Chinese authorities are set to formulate a comprehensive program for the country’s economic and social development, fine-tune the state’s political mechanism while changes in approaches to the country’s governance are also not ruled out, he said.

As for the congress’s international agenda, the expert said that “no surprises can be expected there.”

“It is expected generally to follow those ideas that were formulated in the joint Russo-Chinese statement adopted during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to the opening of the Winter Olympic Games at the beginning of 2022. The statement laid out China’s vision of the present-day international system, and those challenges and opportunities that this system offers to Beijing,” the expert pointed out.

“With regard to the foreign policy program, it will state that the situation in the world is becoming more complex, stability is declining and tension in US-China relations is growing. Perhaps, it will emphasize the traditional principles of China’s foreign policy and the country’s readiness for negotiations. At the same time, it will be stressed that China, naturally, is not giving up claims to Taiwan as a part of the country and that it will fight any attempt at meddling in its internal affairs, namely, on issues of human rights and national minorities,” the expert said.

The Chinese leadership can hardly be expected to outline any new large-scale international initiatives, Kortunov said. In the expert’s opinion, the Chinese authorities face the task of specifying the already existing ideas. “I don’t think that in this regard the congress will be sterile and some new aspects will be outlined,” the expert added.

“Perhaps, it will say something about the SCO [Shanghai Cooperation Organization], BRICS and the Belt and Road Initiative and, probably, about the comprehensive regional economic partnership, in which China also participates. Perhaps, some ideas about reforming the UN will be mentioned,” the expert elaborated.

Taiwan to be discussed without any subsequent radical actions

According to forecasts by Andrey Bystritsky, chairman of the Board of the Support and Development Fund of the Valdai Discussion Club, drastic statements on Taiwan are unlikely at the congress.

“I believe that the Taiwan issue will certainly be discussed because this is a recurring verse of Chinese policy. I think that the need to observe the ‘One China’ principle will be primarily stressed and mentioned. Nonetheless, I don’t believe that any quick radical actions will be taken,” the expert said.

The expert said he was certain that Xi Jinping would be reelected at the Congress of China’s Community Party. “I think that Xi Jinping will most likely be reelected for a third term. In any case, everyone is talking about that,” he said. “China is a huge and complex country but I believe that this will take place,” the expert added.

The congress will primarily discuss the objectives of developing the Chinese policy amid problems with COVID-19 and more intense global rivalry, he said.

“China is now actively engrossed in its development and that is why China’s main task now in this five-year period is to ensure financial independence and build up the economy with reliance on its own forces and consolidate society,” the analyst explained.

China’s Communist Party Congress

The 20th Congress of China’s Communist Party will open on October 16. The congress will elect new members of the Party’s Central Committee and Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and make amendments to the Party’s Regulations. After that, the first plenum of the new Central Committee will convene to elect the Party’s Secretary General and renew the Political Bureau and its Standing Committee.