China Leadership Monitor

Beijing Sets the Stage to Convene the 16th Party Congress

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

After a summer of last-minute wrangling, Beijing moved swiftly to complete preparations for the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) 16th Party Congress. Since the leadership's annual summer retreat at the north China seaside resort at Beidaihe, leadership statements and authoritative press commentary have implied that the congress, scheduled to open on November 8, 2002, will see the long-anticipated retirement of "third generation" leaders around party General Secretary Jiang Zemin and the installation of a new "fourth generation" leadership led by Hu Jintao. Chinese press commentary has also indicated that the party constitution will be amended to incorporate the "three represents"—the controversial political reform enunciated by Jiang Zemin nearly three years ago which aims to broaden the party's base by admitting the entrepreneurial, technical, and professional elite that has emerged in Chinese society under two decades of economic reform.