The main task for delegates will be to select a new central committee made up of about 200 people.
What China congress will vote upon
- The main task for delegates will be to select a new central committee made up of about 200 people.
- The central committee appoints a politburo of 25 members, as well as the central military commission, which controls the nation's armed forces.
- The committee will also appoint the politburo standing committee, China's highest decision-making body, comprising seven to nine members who will be chosen from within the politburo.
- The politburo standing committee, China's innermost core of power, is headed by the party's general secretary, the most important post in the country, currently held by the president, Hu Jintao. The congress is widely expected to appoint the vice-president, Xi Jinping, as the new general secretary. Mr Xi would then replace Mr Hu as president in March.
- China's Communist Party, made up of 82 million members, is the biggest political party in the world.
- Its first congress, a small gathering of about a dozen people, took place in the French concession in Shanghai in 1929 at a school for girls that was closed for the holidays.
- Since 2002, the party has insisted congress delegates not only represent the party, but also different social groupings, including capitalist entrepreneurs.
- Since 1977, the party's congresses have been held once every five years. None was held between 1956 and 1969, years in which there was chaotic political upheaval, such as the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution.