Chinese Communist Party (CCP) opens Fifth Plenum

Today, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will convene for its Fifth Plenum of the 18th CCP Central Committee. The main task to be addressed during the upcoming days is outlining the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016 – 2020; shisanwu, 十三五). It is expected that the CCP leadership will adjust the country’s annual growth rate to a more ‚realistic‘ level of 6.5% and shift its economic focus from the export sector to enhancing China’s domestic development and investments in infrastructure.

Beside economic issues, it is an open question whether personal changes will occur the CCP leadership. One possible replacement could happen in Shanghai, where the current CCP chairman Han Zheng, a Politburo member, could be removed from his post. Furthermore, Liu Yuan, political commissar of the General Logistics Department of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), could be assigned with a seat in the Central Military Commission (CMC).

Lastly, China experts argue that Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption agenda could be intensified in the years to come, especially via inspections in major state financial institutions such as the central bank, securities regulators and state-owned banks, guided by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) led by Wang Qishan.

At the end of this week, the major results of the Fifth Plenum will then be published in a communiqué. The next steps in implementing the 13th Five-Year Plan will be undertaken at the annual Central Economic Work Conference in December and at the National People’s Congress (NPC) meeting in March 2016.