China’s Closed-Door Party Meeting Has Ramifications for US, Experts Say

By Frank Fang
Frank Fang
Frank Fang
journalist
Frank Fang is a Taiwan-based journalist. He covers news in China and Taiwan. He holds a master's degree in materials science from Tsinghua University in Taiwan.
and Luo Ya
Luo Ya
Luo Ya
Luo Ya is a freelance contributor to The Epoch Times.
November 8, 2021 Updated: November 8, 2021

The communist regime in China kicked off a major party meeting on Nov. 8, a political event that China experts said has implications for the Sino–U.S. relationship.

The four-day meeting, attended by Party officials from the regime’s powerful Central Committee, is being held in Beijing behind closed doors. It’s a pivotal plenary political gathering ahead of the 20th National Party Congress next autumn, when the regime will usher in a new group of top leaders.

Currently, Chinese leader Xi Jinping is eyeing an unprecedented third five-year term in office after becoming paramount leader in 2012. As a result, the plenary meeting, officially known as the Sixth Plenum, will set the tone for his moves to retain command of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Chinese military next year.

Two China experts, in separate interviews with The Epoch Times on Nov. 8, explained why the Party meeting is important to the United States.

The meeting is an opportunity for President Joe Biden to learn about the direction the communist regime is headed, as he continues to engage with Xi, while seeing China as a competitor to the United States, U.S.-based Chinese democracy activist and scholar Wang Juntao says.

Biden has spoken to Xi in two phone calls since taking office in January, and they are scheduled to speak again before the end of this year.

More importantly, Wang said the meeting will provide some indication of whether CCP officials opposing Xi have a shot at stopping his bid for a third term in power. The chance would be low if Xi could promote his allies in a personnel reshuffle within the party.

Cheng Chin-mo, associate professor and chairman of the Department of Diplomacy and International Relations at Taiwan’s Tamkang University, said the plenary meeting would be important for Washington to draw up its China policy after the 20th Party congress.

On Nov. 8, China’s state-run media Xinhua reported that Xi presented a “work report” and “made explanations” on a draft resolution celebrating the CCP’s achievements in its 100 years of existence, to officials attending the plenary meeting.

The historical resolution, the third of its kind in the Party’s century-long history, is viewed by some analysts as a way for Xi to cement his political power, and put him on par with former leaders Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping.

The first resolution was promulgated by Mao in 1945 and the second by Deng in 1981.

While the resolution will be debated among CCP officials, it’s widely expected to be adopted before the end of the plenary meeting on Nov. 11. However, Cheng questioned how much of a political boost the resolution would have, considering the Chinese leader is facing a myriad of internal and external problems.

Inside China, Xi must deal with a worsening unemployment situation, soaring commodity prices, and the ripple effects of Chinese companies in financial troubles such as property developer Evergrande, he said.

Cheng said the Chinese regime also is facing enormous international pressure over its policies in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China’s far-western Xinjiang region.

“Unless Xi can seize absolute control over personnel appointments at the Sixth Plenum, and he also implements drastic reforms after being reelected at the 20th Party congress, I think the future of the Chinese Communist Party may not be optimistic.”

Frank Fang
journalist
Frank Fang is a Taiwan-based journalist. He covers news in China and Taiwan. He holds a master's degree in materials science from Tsinghua University in Taiwan.
Luo Ya
Luo Ya is a freelance contributor to The Epoch Times.