09/26/2022, 14.33
CHINA
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Delegates to the 20th Communist Party Congress announced with no surprises

Everything is set for the big event. Despite rumours of a possible coup, the turnover at the top is expected to be smooth with Xi Jinping still at the helm. Nationalist hawk calls for more transparency over COVID-19 pandemic, sparking unusual online debate.

 

Beijing (AsiaNews) – Chinese state media today published the list of 2,296 delegates who will attend the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of China, set to start on 16 October.

Delegates will elect the new party’s Central Committee as well as the party’s two decision-making bodies, the Politburo and its Standing Committee.

Since Xi Jinping unsurprisingly made the cut to be in the final list, it puts to rest online rumours of a possible coup d'état, with the Chinese president under arrest.

The only two prominent figures excluded from the congress are Zhang Xiaoming, a former executive deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Bureau, and Ying Yong, a former Deputy procurator-general of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate.

Discussions among party factions over the distribution of power was likely more intense than expected, but Xi should be able to get a new mandate, thus breaking with the tradition of the past 30 years whereby leaders were limited to two five-year terms as head of state, party boss, and commander of the Armed Forces.

For some observers, the announcement of the opening date of the Congress and the names of delegates suggest that a consensus has been reached and that everything should go without a hitch.

Meanwhile, preparations in Beijing are underway, with security and COVID-19 measures stepped up.

Against this apparent calm, a statement by Hu Xijin on the pandemic emergency in China has raised eyebrows.

Yesterday, a former editor of the state-owned Global Times newspaper, known to be a nationalist hawk, said on Weibo (the Chinese equivalent of Twitter) that experts need to speak out on COVID-19 as well as conduct comprehensive studies and share them with the public

Hu's message got more than 34,000 likes, sparking an online conversation that the authorities did not censor, something unusual since discussions about COVID-19 are usually shut down.

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