China expected to grant Xi 5 more years, no major changes

Oct 15, 2022, 4:48 AM | Updated: Oct 16, 2022, 2:13 am
In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, delegates attend a preparatory meeting ahead of the 2...

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, delegates attend a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Huang Jingwen/Xinhua via AP)

(Huang Jingwen/Xinhua via AP)

BEIJING (AP) — China on Sunday opens a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong.

Xi is expected to issue a lengthy address at the opening session, but little change is foreseen in his formula of strict one-party rule, intolerance of criticism and a hard-line approach toward COVID-19 including quarantines and travel bans even as other countries have opened up.

As with most Chinese political events, little information has been released beforehand and the congress’ outcome will only be announced after several days of closed-door sessions. How much has been decided in advance and how much is still to be hashed out in face-to-face meetings also remains unknown.

At a two-hour news conference Saturday, the congress’ spokesperson Sun Yeli reaffirmed the government’s commitment to its “zero-COVID” policy despite the economic costs, and repeated its threat to use force to annex self-governing Taiwan.

But Sun offered few details about what if any changes would be enacted to the party’s charter at the meeting, which is expected to last about a week. The congress is the 20th in the history of the century-old party, which boasts some 96 million members, over 2,000 of whom will attend the Beijing meetings.

The changes will “incorporate the major theoretical views and strategic thinking” concluded in the five years since the last congress, said Sun, a deputy head of the Chinese Communist Party’s Propaganda Department who is not well known outside party circles.

The amendment or amendments will “meet new requirements for advancing the party’s development and work in the face of new circumstances and new tasks,” Sun said.

Xi has left little room for further political aggrandizement, having placed himself thoroughly in charge of domestic affairs, foreign policy, the military, the economy and most other key matters overseen by party working groups that he leads.

The congress comes as China’s economy is facing major headwinds amid a near-collapse in the real estate sector and the toll on retail and manufacturing imposed by COVID-19 restrictions that upped the regime’s already intense monitoring of the population and suppression of free speech.

In his remarks, Sun said China would exert all efforts to bring Taiwan under its control peacefully. But he said China would not tolerate what he called a movement toward full independence backed by hard-liners on the island and their overseas backers– presumably the U.S., which is Taiwan’s main source of military and diplomatic support despite the lack of formal relations in deference to Beijing.

Sun also offered no hope China would be backing away from “zero COVID,” which Xi and other leaders have made a political issue despite criticism by the World Health Organization and others that it is not a practical long-term solution given improvements in vaccines and therapies.

Many expect the policy to be continued at least until March, which Xi is expected to be given his third term as president and other top Cabinet leaders are installed.

While Xi faces no open opposition, his parting with the party’s former collegial leadership style to concentrate power in his own hands does rankle among the public and party officials, said political observer and dissident Yin Weihong, who has faced repeated police harassment for his opposition views.

“There’s a sense that he’s taken a cake formally divided amongst several and decided he’ll just have it all to himself,” Yin said in a phone call from his home south of Shanghai.

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              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, delegates attend a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Huang Jingwen/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping presides over a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Ju Peng/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, delegates attend a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Huang Jingwen/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping presides over a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Ju Peng/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, delegates attend a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Huang Jingwen/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping presides over a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Ju Peng/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, delegates attend a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Huang Jingwen/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping presides over a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Ju Peng/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, delegates attend a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Huang Jingwen/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping presides over a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Ju Peng/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, delegates attend a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Huang Jingwen/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping presides over a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Ju Peng/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, delegates attend a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Huang Jingwen/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping presides over a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Ju Peng/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, delegates attend a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Huang Jingwen/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping presides over a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Ju Peng/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, delegates attend a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Huang Jingwen/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping presides over a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Ju Peng/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, delegates attend a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Huang Jingwen/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping presides over a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Ju Peng/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, delegates attend a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Huang Jingwen/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping presides over a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Ju Peng/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, delegates attend a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Huang Jingwen/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping presides over a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Ju Peng/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, delegates attend a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Huang Jingwen/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping presides over a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Ju Peng/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, delegates attend a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Huang Jingwen/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping presides over a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Ju Peng/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, delegates attend a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Huang Jingwen/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping presides over a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Ju Peng/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, delegates attend a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Huang Jingwen/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping presides over a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Ju Peng/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, delegates attend a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Huang Jingwen/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping presides over a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Ju Peng/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, delegates attend a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Huang Jingwen/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping presides over a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Ju Peng/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, delegates attend a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Huang Jingwen/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping presides over a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Ju Peng/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, delegates attend a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Huang Jingwen/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping presides over a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Ju Peng/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, delegates attend a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Huang Jingwen/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping presides over a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Ju Peng/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, delegates attend a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Huang Jingwen/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping presides over a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Ju Peng/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, delegates attend a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Huang Jingwen/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping presides over a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Ju Peng/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, delegates attend a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Huang Jingwen/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping presides over a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Ju Peng/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, delegates attend a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Huang Jingwen/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping presides over a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Ju Peng/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, delegates attend a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Huang Jingwen/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping presides over a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Ju Peng/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, delegates attend a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Huang Jingwen/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping presides over a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Ju Peng/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, delegates attend a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Huang Jingwen/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping presides over a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Ju Peng/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, delegates attend a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Huang Jingwen/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping presides over a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Ju Peng/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, delegates attend a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Huang Jingwen/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping presides over a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Ju Peng/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, delegates attend a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Huang Jingwen/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping presides over a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Ju Peng/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, delegates attend a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Huang Jingwen/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping presides over a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Ju Peng/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, delegates attend a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Huang Jingwen/Xinhua via AP)
            
              In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping presides over a preparatory meeting ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. China on Sunday is opening a twice-a-decade party conference at which leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term that breaks with recent precedent and establishes himself as arguably the most powerful Chinese politician since Mao Zedong. (Ju Peng/Xinhua via AP)
            
              Spokesperson Sun Yeli is seen on a video screen as he speaks via video link during a press conference held on the eve of the opening session of the 20th National Congress of China's ruling Communist Party in Beijing, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. At a two-hour news conference Saturday, the congress' spokesperson Sun Yeli reaffirmed the government's commitment to its "zero-COVID" policy, despite the economic costs, and repeated its threat to use force to annex self-governing Taiwan. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
            
              A journalist wearing a face mask takes a smartphone photo during a press conference held on the eve of the opening session of the 20th National Congress of China's ruling Communist Party in Beijing, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. At a two-hour news conference Saturday, the congress' spokesperson Sun Yeli reaffirmed the government's commitment to its "zero-COVID" policy, despite the economic costs, and repeated its threat to use force to annex self-governing Taiwan. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
            
              A staff member wearing a face mask stands near journalists seated during a press conference held on the eve of the opening session of the 20th National Congress of China's ruling Communist Party in Beijing, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. At a two-hour news conference Saturday, the congress' spokesperson Sun Yeli reaffirmed the government's commitment to its "zero-COVID" policy, despite the economic costs, and repeated its threat to use force to annex self-governing Taiwan. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
            
              An attendee takes a smartphone photo as spokesperson Sun Yeli speaks via video link during a press conference held on the eve of the opening session of the 20th National Congress of China's ruling Communist Party in Beijing, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. At a two-hour news conference Saturday, the congress' spokesperson Sun Yeli reaffirmed the government's commitment to its "zero-COVID" policy, despite the economic costs, and repeated its threat to use force to annex self-governing Taiwan. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
            
              Spokesperson Sun Yeli is seen on a video screen as he speaks via video link during a press conference held on the eve of the opening session of the 20th National Congress of China's ruling Communist Party in Beijing, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. At a two-hour news conference Saturday, the congress' spokesperson Sun Yeli reaffirmed the government's commitment to its "zero-COVID" policy, despite the economic costs, and repeated its threat to use force to annex self-governing Taiwan. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
            
              Attendees gather before a press conference held on the eve of the opening session of the 20th National Congress of China's ruling Communist Party in Beijing, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. At a two-hour news conference Saturday, the congress' spokesperson Sun Yeli reaffirmed the government's commitment to its "zero-COVID" policy, despite the economic costs, and repeated its threat to use force to annex self-governing Taiwan. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
            
              Staff members wearing face masks talk before a press conference held on the eve of the opening session of the 20th National Congress of China's ruling Communist Party in Beijing, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. At a two-hour news conference Saturday, the congress' spokesperson Sun Yeli reaffirmed the government's commitment to its "zero-COVID" policy, despite the economic costs, and repeated its threat to use force to annex self-governing Taiwan. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
            
              Attendees gather before a press conference held on the eve of the opening session of the 20th National Congress of China's ruling Communist Party in Beijing, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. At a two-hour news conference Saturday, the congress' spokesperson Sun Yeli reaffirmed the government's commitment to its "zero-COVID" policy, despite the economic costs, and repeated its threat to use force to annex self-governing Taiwan. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
            
              Attendees gather before a press conference held on the eve of the opening session of the 20th National Congress of China's ruling Communist Party in Beijing, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. At a two-hour news conference Saturday, the congress' spokesperson Sun Yeli reaffirmed the government's commitment to its "zero-COVID" policy, despite the economic costs, and repeated its threat to use force to annex self-governing Taiwan. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
            
              Spokesperson Sun Yeli is seen on a video screen as he speaks via video link during a press conference held on the eve of the opening session of the 20th National Congress of China's ruling Communist Party in Beijing, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. At a two-hour news conference Saturday, the congress' spokesperson Sun Yeli reaffirmed the government's commitment to its "zero-COVID" policy, despite the economic costs, and repeated its threat to use force to annex self-governing Taiwan. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

AP

FILE - A Bed Bath & Beyond sign is shown in Mountain View, Calif., May 9, 2012. Bed Bath & Beyond s...
Associated Press

Bed Bath & Beyond says it’s in default on its loans

NEW YORK (AP) — Bed Bath & Beyond said Thursday that it’s in default on its loans and doesn’t have sufficient funds to repay what it owes. The home goods chain said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that the default would force it to consider alternatives including restructuring its debt in bankruptcy court. […]
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Associated Press

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NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks that traded heavily or had substantial price changes Thursday: Tesla Inc., up $15.84 to $160.27. The electric vehicle maker’s profits surged in the fourth-quarter, beating Wall Street forecasts. Chevron Corp., up $8.71 to $187.79. The energy company raised its dividend and announced a $75 billion stock buyback program. Lam Research […]
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Associated Press

Chipotle looks to hire 15,000 amid continuing labor shortage

Restaurants are beginning the new year with a recurring problem: labor shortages. Chipotle said Thursday it’s looking to hire 15,000 people in North America to ensure its stores are staffed up ahead of its busy spring season. Other chains are also looking for workers: Taco Bell has more than 25,000 listings for crew members posted […]
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FILE - Jack Phillips, who's case was heard by the Supreme Court five years ago after he objected to...
Associated Press

Colorado baker loses appeal over transgender birthday cake

DENVER (AP) — The Colorado baker who won a partial U.S. Supreme Court victory after refusing to make a gay couple’s wedding cake because of his Christian faith lost an appeal Thursday in his latest legal fight, involving his rejection of a request for a birthday cake celebrating a gender transition. The Colorado Court of […]
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FILE - A locomotive stops to switch tracks before arriving at the Selkirk rail yard Wednesday, Sept...
Associated Press

Amid gains, railroaders seeking quality-of-life improvements

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The contract imposed on railroad workers last fall didn’t resolve their quality-of-life issues, but already this year there are indications the major freight railroads are starting to address some of their concerns about demanding schedules that keep many of them on call 24-7 without paid sick time. Still, most workers and […]
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FILE - The Emirati Minister of State and the CEO of Abu Dhabi's state-run Abu Dhabi National Oil Co...
Associated Press

Climate groups decry selection of oil chief to oversee COP28

Hundreds of climate and environmental groups from around the world released a letter Thursday that decried the nomination of an oil executive to oversee the United Nations climate negotiations at COP28 this year. Earlier this month, the United Arab Emirates, host of the U.N. climate talks this year, named Sultan al-Jaber to the presidency of […]
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