Source AP ©

China Communists to hold major congress next week

Next week China’s President Hu Jintao will oversee appointments of key allies to top government and party posts at a major congress. Country’s communist party has wrapped up preparations for this event.

About 350 members of the party's Central Committee and their alternates met this week at a hotel on Beijing's western outskirts to finalize the conclave's agenda and review documents to be adopted by the more than 2,000 party delegates.

A brief announcement by the official Xinhua News Agency on Friday said attendees approved an amendment to the party constitution that will be voted on at the congress.

The twice-a-decade conclave, which kicks off Monday at the Great Hall of the People, is expected to run for about one week.

Top posts are expected to be filled and new members of the party's all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee are expected to be unveiled.

No details of the amendment were given, although commentators and pro-Beijing newspapers in Hong Kong have reported it would insert into the constitution references to Hu's trademark political theories - the "theory of scientific development," and "harmonious society."

Both concepts refer to Hu's calls for more balanced development and spreading China's wealth to the poor and other vulnerable groups.

Similar ideological constructs have been entered into the constitution at each of the last three congresses. Such amendments help the party maintain continuity by allowing each leader to leave his mark.

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