Live Updates: China’s Xi Jinping has introduced the leaders of the Communist Party’s Politburo


On Sunday, all eyes are on the top leadership of the Communist Party.

New members of the party’s Politburo Standing Committee, China’s most powerful decision-making body, will make their first appearance at the Great Hall of the People in a moment expected to confirm Xi Jinping’s likely rule-breaking bid for a third term and strengthen his position. He has been China’s most powerful leader for decades.

Which party follows Xi into the hall as a new committee member will reveal much about his authority within the opaque inner workings of elite party politics, and may provide clues as to whether he sees his rule extending past three terms.

Here’s what to see:

Open the seats. In recent years the standing committee has had seven members, who usually step down at the unofficial retirement age of those over 68 during Congress. This year, however, two other members, Li Keqiang, 67, and Wang Yang, neither of whom are considered close Xi allies, will also step down, making way for a sweeping reshuffle that will fill four new seats.

Allies and protégés. A strong indicator of Xi’s power will be how well he is able to fill those open seats with party members within his ranks. Several of Xi’s protégés and elite allies have been touted by elite political observers as candidates for promotion. They include Chongqing party chief Chen Min’er, 62, Ding Xuexiang, 60, who heads the Communist Party General Office, and Shanghai party chief Li Qiang, 63.

Potential successor Experts will be watching to see if there will be a young face – and a potential successor – on the standing committee, which could indicate whether Xi is aiming for a fourth term. The absence of a successor at the last Party Congress in 2017 served as a strong signal that Xi intended to break with recent precedent and claim a third term, a long-calculated move expected to go ahead tomorrow.

Selection process While the new committee members and the larger 25-member Politburo it is part of will be formally rubber-stamped by the party’s Central Committee, the real decisions will be made on who fills the Party’s top positions. in discussions between senior party leaders a month before this week’s events.