The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will have its sixth plenum in early November amid heightened concerns about its troubled economy and foreign relations. One analyst has further said the meeting comes amidst increased infighting and purges.
On Oct. 18, the CCP’s Politburo announced the sixth plenum of its 19th Central Committee would convene between Nov. 8-11 in Beijing, according to state media outlets. The date clarification came after a rare, unexplained delay compared to the previous meeting dates, usually in September or October.
China commentator Li Yanming told The Epoch Times in September that the official rhetoric was seeking a basis for further strengthening the position of leader Xi Jinping, a necessary ingredient in maintaining his core leadership within the Party system. He said the plenum will allow for key personnel promotions to thus secure Xi’s re-election in the CCP’s coming 20th national congress in the autumn of 2022.
Additionally, Li believed the delay of the conference pointed to the severity of infighting between Xi and other CCP elites.
There have been signs of internal disharmony between Xi and his political rivals, including ex-head of state Jiang Zemin, ex-Vice Chairman Zeng Qinghong, and his former ally Wang Qishan, who had helped him with anti-graft operations during his first tenure from 2013 to 2018.
Xi began to estrange and discourage Wang by purging his trusted aide Dong Hong and his outspoken friend and property tycoon Ren Zhiqiang. Dong was placed under investigation for rare charges of “disloyalty and dishonesty to the Party” in April 2021. Ren was sentenced to 18 years in prison for a controversial graft case in September 2020.
High-profile reports in state media outlets from early September claimed that a “third historical resolution” would come out of the 4-day Party conference in November, a term that has historically only been used in the context of former Party leader Mao Zedong.
As early as Aug. 31, Chinese authorities said that the coming November conference would “focus on the CCP’s major achievements and historical experiences” over the past 100 years since its formation in 1921.
“Historical resolution” is a rare, top-tier CCP term, meaning a decision that has produced a large impact on the Party.
In April 1945, the then-opposition CCP passed its first historical resolution in the northwestern region of Yan’an and finalized the absolute leadership of Mao within the Party.
Four years later, the CCP won the civil war in mainland China and founded a new country—the People’s Republic of China (PRC)—despite the presence of the Chiang Kai-shek-led Republic of China in Taiwan.
In 1981, the ruling CCP approved a second historical resolution as China abandoned the Mao-led Cultural Revolution. The document denounced the 10-year destructive nationwide campaign as a “serious civil strife” and condemned the late Mao for his political fallacies as well as his cult of personality. However, the CCP elites chose to continue to respect him as a “great proletarian revolutionary” and to toe Marxism and Maoism as their guidelines.