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Q&A

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8. Can delegates to a CPC National Congress run for a second term?

All full Party members (excluding those placed on probation within the Party due to inner-Party disciplinary measure) are eligible to compete for Party leadership at various levels and to become delegates to the Party congresses. Any qualified Party member who satisfies the requirements to become a delegate to the Party congresses can be elected and reelected.

9. When is the CPC National Congress held?

The National Congress of the CPC is the Party's legislature and supreme leading authority. The Party's Constitution stipulates that the CPC National Congress is held once every five years and convened by the Central Committee. The Congress may be held ahead of schedule if and when the Central Committee deems it necessary, or over one-third of the provincial-level organizations express a demand. However, providing there are no special circumstances, the National Congress shall never be postponed. The number of delegates to the National Congress of the CPC and the method of election are decided by the Central Committee.

10. What are the functions and powers of the CPC National Congress?

The Party's Constitution stipulates that the CPC National Congress has the following functions and powers:

(1) To hear and examine the reports of the Central Committee

(2) To hear and examine the reports of the Central Commission for Disciplinary Inspection

(3) To discuss and decide on major issues of the Party

(4) To revise the Party Constitution

(5) To elect the Central Committee

(6) To elect the Central Commission for Disciplinary Inspection

11. How many plenary sessions will be held during one CPC National Congress?

A plenary session of the Central Committee is a meeting composed of all the full members and alternate members of the Central Committee. During the CPC National Congress, the newly elected Central Committee will convene its first plenary session to elect the Political Bureau of the Central Committee and its Standing Committee, and to elect the General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee. The General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee must be elected from members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau. Each National Congress usually holds one plenary session. After the initial plenary session, the Central Committee usually holds at least one plenary session annually which is convened by the Political Bureau of the Central Committee.

Six plenary sessions of the Central Committee have been held since the 15th CPC National Congress. The first plenary session was held to elect the members of the central leading body. The second plenary session deliberated and passed the list of names recommended by the Central Committee for the leadership of state authorities, the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, and the Proposals of the State Council on Institutional Reform. The third plenary session addressed issues related to agriculture and rural work. The fourth plenary session addressed issues concerning reform and development of state-owned enterprises. The fifth plenary session discussed the 10th five-year plan for national economic and social development. The sixth plenary session focused on the construction of Party's operational approach. It carries further the spirits of the 15th CPC National Congress and at the same time prepares for the coming 16th National Congress.

12. What are the tasks of the current Central Committee near the end of its term?

The Central Committee is the highest leading authority of the CPC when the National Congress of the Party is not in session. It implements the decisions of the National Congress, exercises leadership over all work of the Party, and represents the Communist Party of China when dealing in foreign affairs.

The Central Committee is elected by the Party's National Congress and is responsible for, and reports to the National Congress. A plenary session of the Central Committee should be held at least once a year and is convened by the Political Bureau of the Central Committee.

The current Central Committee near the end of its term is elected at the previous National Congress and shoulders the following responsibilities for the forthcoming National Congress: determining the quota of delegates and the method of election; conducting qualification examination of elected delegates; and deciding the timetable for the National Congress. For instance, the Sixth Plenary Session of the Fifteenth Central Committee deliberated and passed on September 26, 2001 a decision to hold the Sixteenth CPC National Congress in the latter half of the year. It was later established that the coming congress will be held on November 8, 2002. The Fifteenth Central Committee will be responsible for convening the coming congress and reporting its progress to the congress.

13. Which institution will carry the major responsibilities while the Congress is in session, and which institution will carry the major responsibilities while the Congress is not in session?

When the National Party Congress is in session, the Presidium of Congress is the leading authority in charge of the functional operations of the meeting. Once a list of candidate names has been defined, following repeated discussions and examination of those nominated by the previous Party committee or various delegations, members are elected by a show of hands.

The Presidium is made up of a secretary-general, vice secretaries-general and several standing committee members. The secretary-general is selected by a show of hands at the preparatory meeting of the Congress, while the standing committee members and vice secretaries-general are selected by a show of hands at the first meeting of the Presidium which is chaired by the secretary-general.

The post of Congress Executive Chairman is occupied by each Presidium member in turn. The tasks of the Presidium include: chairing the Congress according to the meeting?s agenda; organizing reports and discussions at the meeting; chairing electoral procedures at the meeting; and organizing delegates to discuss and pass the decisions through the Congress.

The new Central Committee elected by the Congress becomes the highest leading authority of the CPC when the National Congress of the Party is not in session. It implements the decisions of the National Congress, exercises leadership over all Party operations and represents the Communist Party of China when dealing in foreign affairs. The Presidium ceases to be the leading authority once the Congress is no longer in session.