Black Box by the Sea

This week China’s Communist Party announced the election of the 2,270 delegates who will gather later this year in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People for the 18th National Party Congress. They will be tasked with determining a new roster of top leaders to replace the outgoing crop—and guiding the country for the next ten years. As is so often the case with the grand set-piece conclaves that take place in that imposing structure on the edge of Tiananmen Square, the real decisions about what happens at the Congress will have been made beforehand.