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China’s 19th Party Congress takes place this week—here’s why it matters

President Xi Jinping will use the event to consolidate his grip on power

By George Magnus  

Chinese president Xi Jinping. Photo: Ma Zhancheng/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

On the western side of Tiananmen Square, the Great Hall of the People will this week be the setting for the formal proceedings of the 19th Congress of the ruling Chinese Communist Party. The event, held every five years, isn’t normally of huge interest outside China. But this one is generating more attention than usual. This time is different.

For a start, China’s footprint in the global economy is now bigger than ever. The country has been gifted a…

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