China’s Communist Party makes final preparations ahead of its key party congress, a five-yearly event where President Xi Jinping is expected to further tighten his grip on power. Ciara Lee reports.
Showcasing its achievements over the past five years China gears up for its twice-a-decade Communist Party Congress starting on Wednesday. The self-proclaimed successes include an anti-corruption campaign, a buoyant economy and growing stature on the world stage. With one man behind them. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) 63-YEAR-OLD RETIREE AND BEIJING RESIDENT, ZHANG XIUQING, SAYING: "After President Xi came to power, within these five years, he's cracked down on corruption. We common folk are pretty happy about this." A major leadership reshuffle is expected as well as the setting of key policy priorities for the next five years. And President Xi Jinping is expected to tighten his grip on power for a second five-year term. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CIBC, HEAD OF FX STRATEGY, JEREMY STRETCH, SAYING: "I think the most interesting thing of the party congress will be how President Xi goes into his second five year term and whether he is, or he attempts to anoint a successor. Or whether he perhaps as increasingly looks probable, tries to constrain the power of others and really entrench it alongside his own supporters and really position himself for a third term." Xi has the strength of the economy behind him. And will be buoyed by bumper trade data from Friday But Hong Kong stocks ended flat last week as investors grew cautious ahead of the meeting. Xi wants to regain the private sector's confidence But some feel aligning private investment with state priorities could get messy. With official meddling in board rooms unlikely to produce good business decisions. The private sector creates most of China's jobs It also generates the bulk of its GDP and is by far the most efficient user of labour and capital.