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China's communist congress set to wrap up

Published on Nov 14, 2012 6:13 AM
Paramilitary policemen stand guard in front of a giant portrait of the late chairman Mao Zedong at Beijing's Tiananmen Gate of the Forbidden City November 13, 2012. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (AFP) - China's Communist Party will on Wednesday close a congress tasked with choosing a new circle of leaders who face major economic challenges and growing scrutiny from an increasingly demanding population.

The congress is by far China's most important political event as it chooses who leads the party and nation, and this year's gathering is expected to see Vice-President Xi Jinping selected as China's chief for the next decade.

The gathering of more than 2,200 ruling party delegates from around the country, held at Beijing's Great Hall of the People, will close before midday after selecting a new central committee of 200 or so party leaders.

On Thursday, that committee will meet to determine still higher bodies culminating in China's most powerful governing circle, the Politburo Standing Committee, which currently has nine members and which Mr Xi looks set to lead.

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