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China's Political Calendar

Beijings power game [both military and civilian] is driven by personal networks formed by family backgrounds, regional ties and relationships with mentors or former bosses. Traditionally every summer around July and August, the Communist Party of China's (CPC) leaders slip away from the summer heat of Beijing to meet in a more relaxed setting and set the tone on the nation's major issues. Beidaihe, 300 kilometers east of Beijing, is a seaside resort on Bohai Bay in Hebei Province.

The tradition of summer meetings at Beidaihe can be traced back to 1953 when the central government decided to take a week off from Beijing and work in Beidaihe. The good quality of sand at the beach and its proximity to Beijing made Beidaihe the informal office of the top leaders during almost every summer from then until the practice was suspended in 1965. Top leaders have come up with several major policy initiatives during the Beidaihe summit, including the massive push for backyard steel production during the Great Leap Forward (1958-61). The "summer office" practice resumed in 1984.

The practice lasted until 2003 when the People's Daily announced in July that year that the CPC Central Committee, the State Council, the National People's Congress, the national committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and the Central Military Committee would no longer officially work in Beidaihe during the summer. But senior officials do take a summer break in Beidaihe and hold meetings there from time to time. It is an important occasion when the core leadership gathers and prepares for government operations in the second half of the year.

The Beidaihe meetings usually take place between the mid-year meeting of the Political Bureau and the CPC Central Committee's plenary meeting in autumn.

The Political Bureau of the Central Committee and its Standing Committee are elected by the Plenary Session of the Central Committee. They exercise the functions and powers of the Central Committee when the latter is not in session.

The members of the 18th CPC Central Committee are mostly senior officials from Party organizations, government agencies, State-owned enterprises and the military. The plenary session of the Central Committee is held at least once a year in the autumn, usually in October. The 4-day plenum, is usually attended by about 200 CPC Central Committee members and about 150 alternate members, The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the CPC, the country's top anti-graft watchdog, works under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee.

In March Chinas big annual "two sessions" meetings of government bodies see some 5,000 participants from the National Peoples Congress [NPC], Chinas top legislature, and the National Committee of the Chinese Peoples Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the countrys top political advisory body, descend on Beijing for the annualevent.

Every five years the CPC National Congress also takes place, with the election of a new Standing Committee, Chinas top leadership body. The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) convened on October 18 in Beijing. Party delegates will elect the new leadership of the CPC at the congress.

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Page last modified: 14-12-2017 17:07:13 ZULU