China ruling party to focus on graft at key October meet

China's Communist Party will be holding a plenary session from Oct 24 to Oct 27.
China's Communist Party will be holding a plenary session from Oct 24 to Oct 27. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (REUTERS) – China’s ruling Communist Party will hold a key meeting late next month aimed at revising party discipline rules, state news agency Xinhua said on Tuesday (Sept 27), as President Xi Jinping keeps up a battle to uproot deep-seated corruption.

Formally called plenums, such meetings are typically held annually as the party’s most important event and tend to map out major policies for the years ahead.

The gathering, from Oct 24 to 27, is likely to be the final plenum before the party holds its five-yearly congress, expected some time in the autumn of 2017, at which Xi will cement his power and possibly anoint a successor.

Xinhua said the October meeting, which is always held behind closed doors, would focus on amending rules for supervision in the party, a phrase used to describe regulations to combat graft.

It gave no details of how the rules might be changed.

China has long ruled out setting up an independent body to oversee the fight on graft, insisting the best way is for the party to supervise itself.

Since assuming power almost four years ago, Xi has waged an ambitious campaign against corruption, in which dozens of senior officials have been jailed, including the powerful former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang.

The last plenum before the party congress is typically used to discuss ideological issues, and the outcomes can be opaque.

Other plenums under Xi have focused on economic matters and the rule of law and have produced more concrete policy measures.

At last year’s meeting the party announced a landmark easing of family planning restrictions, to allow all couples to have two children, after decades of a strict one-child policy.