“The meeting stressed the importance of making a draft amendment to the CPC (Communist Party of China) Constitution that conforms to the needs of the CPC’s theoretic innovation, practice and development and will also promote the CPC’s work and strengthen its construction,” Xinhua said, citing a statement from the meeting of the politburo.
The party “constitution” is less a legal document and more an organizational guide and compilation of the ideological justifications that China’s Communists have accumulated – and often quietly shelved – in their evolution from a party of Mao Zedong and mass revolution to one of mass markets and dynamic growth.
Cheng Li, an expert in Chinese politics at the Brookings Institution think-tank in Washington, told Reuters the amendments could include new language on the rule of law and intra-party democracy.
While vague about its contents, Xinhua reported that president Hu Jintao presided over a Monday meeting of the Communist Party’s Politburo and heard comments about the amendment as well as a discussion on the draft report that will be made to the congress by the 17th Central Committee. BBC News has more on the draft report:
Regional and local papers like the Beijing Times and Guangzhou’s Southern Metropolis Daily also carry the Xinhua report, while highlighting in their headlines that some “important theories” set out in the report will be written into the party constitution.
Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post says: “While highlighting several guiding tenets of party doctrines by President Hu Jintao, Jiang Zemin and Deng Xiaoping, one key term missing from the Xinhua report was ‘Mao Zedong thought’, an absence that led some China watchers to wonder whether the party might be moving to play down the philosophy of its late patriarch in the 18th national party congress.”
The Global Times’ bilingual editorial says: “The 18th National Congress of CPC is being held to showcase China’s potential and problems to the entire Party and the people, as well as conduct a frank discussion with the world.”
“The world has a lot of questions for China and the Chinese people also have issues with the domestic situation. The 18th National Congress needs to reply to all these questions.”