The transfer of power in the Communist Party Congress, when a new generation of leaders will come into power, will take place between October 15th and 18th this year. This happens once every decade and is always closely watched by those within China as well as governments and agencies around the world.
Current president Hu Jintao (胡锦涛) will step down as the party’s general secretary – the most senior position in the party. This will bring to an end his ten year spell as leader of the People’s Republic of China, although it will not be until March next year when he officially resigns from his position as president.
Seven Standing Committee members are stepping down, including Mr Hu, who holds the three top branches of power: president, Communist Party secretary and head of the central military commission that runs the military.
Vice-president Xi Jinping (习近平), who visited Ireland in February, is expected to succeed Mr Hu as party leader at the congress, before assuming the presidency in the spring.
Li Keqiang (李克强) is expected to take over the premier’s position from Wen Jiabao.