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Top Chinese leaders meet in seaside resort

Aug. 7, 2012 at 1:44 AM

BEIJING, Aug. 7 (UPI) -- Top leaders of China, including Xi Jinping, and leading experts met in a seaside resort as the Communist country readies for leadership change this year.

Besides Xi, the vice president tipped to be the country's next president and general secretary of the Communist Party, others attending the meeting in Beidaihe, a popular northern resort near Beijing, included leading scientists in defense technology, renowned educators, artists, workers, village teachers, rural medical staff and astronauts, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Without going into details, Xinhua said some of those attending would be recognized and receive rewards for their work. Xi encouraged them to contribute more to the country's development, it said.

The New York Times quoted analysts that the meeting will likely set the stage for serious negotiations over the upcoming power transition, which takes place once every 10 years.

The U.S. newspaper said senior party leaders and officials have been working for months to find replacements in the 25-member Politburo and its powerful Standing Committee. The final selection is to be announced during the party's 18th National Congress this fall.

The current meeting is taking place at time when demands for more liberal economic policies have been growing in the country as China's global role widens, the Times said.

Some of these voices also want adjustments in the current one-party rule.

The meeting also comes in the wake of the disgraced departure of powerful Politburo member Bo Xilai.

The Times said issues to be discussed at the resort meeting would include whether to reduce the size of the Standing Committee from nine to seven. Any change, however would not affect Xi, the heir apparent to President Hu Jintao, and Li Keqiang, expected to succeed Wen Jiabao as the next premier..

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