China opens the 6th plenum of the Communist Party devoted to cultural development

A plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which opened Saturday in Beijing for four days will be devoted to “cultural development” of the country and endorse the guidelines adopted by the Politburo, the highest in the country.

According to independent observers, this is in large part to strengthen the Party’s control over the media and the Internet, while a new generation of leaders must take the reins of the Party-State in China within a year.

On 26 September, the Political Bureau, which has 25 members, “discussed a draft resolution of the CPC Central Committee on cultural reform,” says Xinhua news agency.

The document “embody the wisdom of the CPC and other groups as a whole and serve as a guide to accelerate cultural reforms,” according to anonymous experts quoted by Xinhua.

China now has half a billion Internet users and more than 200 million users of microblogging, Beijing is increasingly concerned about the ability of the Internet to influence public opinion.

The regime has also recently strengthened its control over some reformist newspapers.

The meeting place and discussion of the plenum, which brings together all members of the Central Committee, numbering just over 200, is kept secret as usual. The result of the plenum will be communicated by the official media after Tuesday.

The general view, it is already clear that the Vice President Xi Jinping is the successor to General Secretary Hu Jintao at the 18th CCP Congress in the fall of 2012. In March 2013, he should succeed Mr. Hu as head of state.

For his part, Vice-Premier Li Keqiang should replace the current prime minister Wen Jiabao.

But the allocation of other positions within the Party and government are still the subject of power struggles at the highest levels, analysts said.