Analysis: 18th Party Congress Delay May Foreshadow Zhou Yongkang's Fall

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Reuters released an exclusive report on Tuesday that the Chinese Communist Party may be delaying its 18th Party Congress by several months. That’s according to three un-named sources from within the Chinese regime.

The 18th Party Congress is originally schedule for either September or October, and would determine a power transfer taking place in March next year. Reuters says the Congress may now be pushed back to December or January next year, and suggests this delay is because of Bo Xilai, the disgraced Chongqing Party Secretary now under investigation. Some commentators say Communist Party leaders need more time to deliver the final judgement.

NTD’s Senior China Analyst Zhang Tianliang believes there’s another reason - and that’s how Wen Jiabao and Hu Jintao will take down their political rival, security chief Zhou Yongkang.

Zhang says Zhou Yongkang’s membership in the Politburo Standing Committee makes him a trickier target, and this would lead to a delay of 18th Party Congress.

[Zhang Tianliang, NTD Senior China Analyst]
“They should have enough time to clean up officials who have relationships with Bo Xilai and decide who will be in the standing committee of Politburo. But if they work on Zhou Yongkang’s case, that will be a big issue. Zhou Yongkang has a higher ranking and he has more people who are working for him, so I think if you see the postponement of the 18th Party Congress, the Zhou Yongkang is very likely to be in big trouble before that.”

Zhang says Zhou Yongkang’s removal would cause wider reverberations than Bo Xilai. Zhou oversees the Political and Legislative Affairs Committee that's tasked with "maintaining stability. This largely involves using the courts and police system to keep a lid on dissent...

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