According to state-control news agency Xinhua, Chinese leader Xi Jinping held a two-day study session in Beijing to emphasize the importance of the congress before the 20 National Congress. 

During the session, Xi told party cadres to be prepared for a “critical moment” ahead of the convention. 

Xi said, “The upcoming 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China is a very important conference that will be held at a critical moment in our new journey of building a socialist, modern country.”

Provincial chiefs and minister-level officials have gathered for the session. 

Xi noted that the next party congress would establish key goals and policies for the next five years so that China could achieve its socialist modernization by 2035.

China Communist Party (CCP) will host its 20 National Congress later this year, where Xi is expected to secure a third term as China’s leader, the CCP’s general secretary. The congress will have new leadership changes with younger cadres to be handpicked for key positions promoted.

Xi’s study session comes at a time when China’s economy faces great challenges such as slowing GDP growth rate, key industries hit by its strict Covid policy, an ongoing real estate crisis, among others. 

China’s economy only grew 0.4% in the second quarter due to strict lockdown measures. This is the slowest growth rate since the first quarter of 2020, when the initial coronavirus first hit the country.

Despite the economy being hit hard by the zero-Covid strategy, Xi last month said that China still stuck to its controversial zero-Covid strategy. 

During his symbolic visit to Wuhan, Xi said that China’s zero-Covid policy was the most “economic and effective” for the country, and it could achieve the goal of eliminating infection.

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