5 myths about China’s leadership change

News   •   Oct 23, 2012 12:21 GMT

1. The party congress is just for show

Partly true. China doesn’t have a nationwide election where it’s uncertain who will reach the upper echelons until votes have been counted. Instead they have a congress every fifth year where some 2,000 delegates from the Communist Party get together to make some key decisions about the future of the nation.

In addition to reviewing and making changes to the party constitution, they will make the final calls about who will be in charge of the party for the upcoming five years. In practice, important personnel decisions are made beforehand and there has to be a strong belief that preferred candidates would have the necessary support when the “election” is taking place.

This year’s 18th Party Congress, starting November 8th, is definitely a show, as it’s giving the state media a welcome opportunity to proclaim the achievements of the party and its leadership. At the same time, the importance of the event should not be underestimated - it is through the Party Congress that we all might gain a better understanding of where China and its leadership will be heading next.

Read the other 4 myths at

Read more about the Chinese leadership change.