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China party meets to grant Xi Jinping 5 more years in office

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BEIJING (AP) — China on Sunday opened a twice-a-decade Communist Party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes him as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong.

Xi is expected to issue a lengthy address at the opening session, but little change is foreseen in China’s strict one-party rule, intolerance of criticism and hard-line approach toward COVID-19 including quarantines and travel bans.

As with most Chinese political events, little information has been released beforehand and the congress’ outcome will only be announced after days of closed-door sessions.

How much has been decided in advance and how much is still to be hashed out in face-to-face meetings remains unknown.

More than 2,000 of the party’s 96 million members are attending the weeklong meeting at the hulking Great Hall of the People in the center of Beijing.

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