A poster with a portrait of Chinese President Xi Jinping in Shanghai, China, September 2017.
Aly Song / REUTERS

This week, after months of factional jockeying, Chinese President Xi Jinping and his colleagues will convene the 19th Chinese Communist Party Congress. At the conclave's end, Xi will walk into a cavernous room in the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing, flanked by China’s new rulers.

Xi and his colleagues head the bureaucracies that manage China's economy, military, propaganda apparatus, and security organs. But on this occasion, they will appear in their most important capacity: as the members of the Politburo’s Standing Committee, China’s top decision-making body. This group will govern China until the next party congress, in 2022.

For party leaders, this week marks another half decade in power. But it will also bring a different anniversary, which Beijing will greet without fanfare. The 19th Party Congress falls on the eve of the centenary of Russia’s Bolshevik Revolution, the movement that led to the creation

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  • NICK FRISCH is a doctoral candidate in Asian studies at Yale University and a Resident Fellow at Yale Law School.
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