In one of its first official statements on the upcoming change of leadership, the Chinese government confirmed on Monday that the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) will be held in the second half of the year and more than 2200 party delegates have been elected to attend it.
"The elected delegates will represent more than 82 million CPC members to attend the Party's 18th National Congress, which is scheduled to be held in the second half of this year in Beijing," it was announced in a statement.
The once-in-a-decade leadership change will see a change in the top leadership including the President and the nine current members of the powerful standing committee of the party politburo.
The scandal involving the sacking of CPC leader Bo Xilai – once tipped to be member of the standing committee – has already triggered speculation about internecine power struggle in CPC. But the government has played down the perceived causes and impact of the scandal saying that it was a sign of party discipline that a top leader wasn’t about the laws of the party and the land.
On Monday, the government said in a statement that 2,270 delegates were elected from across the country from April to July this year when local CPC committees held their own congresses. The delegates will need to pass a qualification check to get final approval to attend the congress, according to the statement.
"President Hu Jintao and another eight members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee were included in the list of names," the statement said.
The delegates include not only CPC leaders at various levels, but also grassroots members and people from various sectors, including the economy, science and technology, national defense, politics and the judicial sector, education, publicity, culture, health care, sports and social management.
In an effort to better represent its members, the CPC pledged to include more delegates from grassroots organisations, such as migrant workers at the Congress.
"The minimum proportion of grassroots delegates should be 32%, two percentage points higher than that of the previous congress in 2007, while the maximum proportion of leaders at various levels should be 68%," the organisation department of the CPC Central Committee said.