The Straits Times
Published on Nov 01, 2012

China's Communist Party prepares for power handover


BEIJING (AFP) - Top members of China's Communist Party are expected to debate leadership changes and oust disgraced figure Bo Xilai as they hold their last meeting starting on Thursday ahead of a power transition next week.

The plenum of the 17th Communist Party Central Committee, held behind closed doors, could last up to four days and will be closely watched for clues about next week's pivotal congress.

The once-in-a-decade congress is set to name leaders for the next 10 years with Vice-President Xi Jinping expected to succeed President Hu Jintao, while Vice-Premier Li Keqiang will likely replace outgoing Premier Wen Jiabao.

Little else is known on who will fill a supporting cast to run the world's second-largest economy, with Chinese politics remaining shrouded in secrecy and intrigue.