he Chinese Communist Party announced yesterday it will hold its long-awaited national congress beginning Sept. 1, an event expected to reform the ruling party and bring a new group of younger professionals to high position.
A communique from the Central Committee said the group had adopted a report and a new draft party constitution for submission to the congress.
It will be the first congress in five years. Since the 1977 session, less than one year after the death of Chairman Mao Tse-tung, the party has formally shifted its main goal from political class struggle to economic modernization and demoted Mao's chosen successor, Hua Guofeng.
Chairman Hu Yaobang, who replaced Hua as party leader a year ago, has said the existing Central Committee membership contains too many people chosen by Hua's faction--a group regarded as politically closer to the repudiated and more leftist line.
The congress is expected to consolidate the power of the man seen as China's real top leader, Party Vice Chairman Deng Xiaoping.
Diplomatic sources said it was widely believed the congress would set up some kind of council of advisers on which to place aged and infirm party leaders, thus removing them from key front-line positions. The sources indicated that retirement could be an important theme at the congress.