China's leaders gather in northern resort for policy meeting

China's leaders gather in northern resort for policy meeting
The Great Hall of the People, where the Chinese Communist Party plenum is being held, is seen behinds red flags in Tiananmen square in Beijing
PHOTO: Reuters

BEIJING - Chinese government leaders and Communist Party elders apparently have started their unofficial annual conference to discuss key policy and personnel issues.

Vice President Li Yuanchao took part in an educational event Monday in Beidaihe, a resort in Hebei Province serving as the conference's venue, the official Xinhua News Agency reported, while locals said a series of party dignitaries had arrived in the past few days. Du Qinglin, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, also was at the event, Xinhua said without mentioning the whereabouts of President Xi Jinping.

The leaders likely will discuss issues such as China's 13th five-year plan, which will guide economic policy for 2016-2020, and personnel matters of the party's Politburo. Some watchers speculate the cities of Beijing and Chongqing could receive new leaders.

Under China's "new normal," which seeks to balance economic growth and reforms, Xi's leadership aims to maintain modest- to fast-paced growth through the forthcoming five-year plan.

In July, China's leadership expelled from the party a group of senior politicians close to former President Hu Jintao, including Ling Jihua, accusing them of corruption. Some conference participants may take issue with such anti-corruption measures or criticise the recent economic slowdown.

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