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Communist Party Congress is not Game of Thrones, says state media

Instead of focussing on the leadership reshuffle, focus should be on China lifting at least 65 million people out of poverty, said the article published on the party congress website.

world Updated: Oct 14, 2017 20:16 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times, Beijing
A man walks by an advertising electric panel showing the Communist Party logo as commuters wait for buses in Shanghai on  Saturday.
A man walks by an advertising electric panel showing the Communist Party logo as commuters wait for buses in Shanghai on Saturday.(AP)

The Communist Party congress next week is not fantasy drama Game of Thrones, and will instead be more about charting China’s future plan “under a new leadership”, state media has said.

Instead of focussing on the leadership reshuffle, focus should be on China lifting at least 65 million people out of poverty, and its plans to lift the remaining 40 million or so out of poverty by 2020, said an article published on the website of the once-in-five-years party congress.

President Xi Jinping is expected to consolidate his powers during the 19th National Congress which begins on October 18 in Beijing where more than 2,300 delegates from across the country will gather.

The rubber-stamp election process is expected to reveal a new lineup of the CPC’s three main decision-making bodies – the Central Committee , the Politburo and the elite Standing Committee of the PB. Wide-ranging changes are also expected in the powerful Xi-led Central Military Commission. Xi, who heads the PB, will continue as the president as well as the general secretary of the 89-million strong CPC.

However, there’s much speculation about who will form the rest of the SC, including whether Premier Li Keqiang will continue in his post and whether another SC member, Wang Qishan, will be elevated.

Many theories are also being discussed about new members – the so-called 6th generation of leaders in China who are born in the 1960s – who will be inducted into the SC and whether the number of the SC members will be reduced from the current seven to five.

No one including the Chinese citizenry is sure about the outcome of the secretive process.

In fact, it’s not yet been announced for how many days the Congress will be held and when the new PB and SC will be revealed, usually done on the last day of the meeting.

Hence, the state media has had to publish an article headlined “The 19th CPC National Congress: It’s not about ‘Game of Thrones’”.

“There have been a lot of assumptions and speculation in the run-up to the CPC National Congress, with an excessive amount of attention placed on the leadership reshuffle in the Western media,” it said.

“Some reports and commentary have framed the political meeting as the American fantasy drama Game of Thrones. This makes for good entertainment, but trying to understand Chinese politics through the lens of American fiction or by projecting the mechanics of Western democracy onto Chinese politics creates a distorted picture of how China's political system works and why the National Congress matters to China and the world,” the article argued.

Then it went on to talk about the two “centenary goals”.

“Once the first centenary goal of building a moderately prosperous society ahead of the 100th anniversary of the founding of CPC in 2021 is realised, China will eradicate poverty in a country with a population of about one fifth of the global total,” said the article.

“The second centenary goal, which aims to build a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, and harmonious, will be completed by 2049, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.”