China's 2017 Communist Party Leadership Structure & Transition

The upcoming 19th National Party Congress in China is expected to mark the beginning of President Xi Jinping’s second, five-year term as China’s top leader and set in motion a series of changes to senior positions within the party and government. The party congress, scheduled for fall 2017, will also establish policy priorities for the subsequent five years — and perhaps indicate the direction of economic reforms.

The US-China Business Council (USCBC) released a report this week outlining China’s leadership structure and transition.

If previous party congress practices hold, many key national and provincial party leaders could be replaced when reaching the targeted retirement age of 68. This means five of the seven current Politburo Standing Committee members could retire, leaving only President Xi and Premier Li Keqiang to continue. Additionally, at least 11 of the 25 members of the Politburo are likely to retire, based solely on age. Average turnover in the larger Central Committee has been 60 percent, based on age and other factors. USCBC’s report highlights which officials are at the standard retirement age.

Other appointments to party and government positions will be announced on an ongoing basis through the National People’s Congress in March 2018, including key government officials whose work affects trade and commerce in China. The fall 2018 third plenary session of the Communist Party should be important to USCBC member companies for its directives on economic reforms. The previous third plenary session in 2013 saw the announcement of an expansive, yet largely aspirational, economic reform agenda that has to date fallen short of expectations.

Don’t miss the report, which can be found here.