China has finally announced the start date of the crucial Communist Party national congress: November 8 in Beijing.
State news agency Xinhua announced the date Friday following a meeting of the powerful political bureau of the CPC Central Committee.
The five-yearly congress is a key event in the country's leadership transition, with Xi Jinping expected to replace Hu Jintao as Chinese president.
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But the dates for the congress were overdue: dates are usually announced in August, with the congress held in mid-October, the Associated Press reported.
"The delay is yet another sign of disarray over a power transition that has become fractious despite party leaders' attempts to display public unity," the AP said.
China Digital Times noted that news of the congress convening November 8 was released alongside an announcement that disgraced politician Bo Xilai has been expelled from the Communist Party and will face charges.
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