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China's Communist Party congress is not just about Xi Jinping

Event will set the tone for economic and foreign policy for the next decade

| China
President Xi Jinping toasts during a dinner reception on the eve of the National Day holiday in Beijing on Sept. 30: The ruling regime needs to establish more clarity on who will succeed him.   © AP

Minxin Pei is professor of government at Claremont McKenna College and a nonresident senior fellow of the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

The upcoming Chinese Communist Party national congress, set to convene on Oct. 16, will largely be a ritualistic exercise. Analysts of the oligarchical nature of politics in China quip that party leaders typically hold small meetings to make big decisions but stage large conferences to deal with minor problems.

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