China sets Nov 8 for pivotal Communist Party meeting
BEIJING (AFP) - China said on Friday the Communist Party would gather Nov 8 for a pivotal congress that will confirm the country's next leaders, but comes amid a damaging political scandal.
The announcement of the date for the congress ends intense speculation over the gathering's timing and whether it would be affected by the scandal involving former top politician Bo Xilai.
President Hu Jintao is expected to step down as head of the ruling party at the congress, making way for his expected successor, Vice President Xi Jinping, who is likely to serve two five-year terms.
"The 18th congress of the Chinese Communist Party will be held very soon," foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a regular press briefing in Beijing.