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China leaders prepare for secretive 18th Party Congress




Chinese paramilitary police stand guard in front of the portrait of late leader Mao Zedong at Tiananmen Square in Beijing on November 6, 2012. The heirs of Mao Zedong convene this week to anoint China's next leaders, as the Communist Party maintains an iron grip on the economic powerhouse despite mounting calls for change in the Internet era.
Chinese paramilitary police stand guard in front of the portrait of late leader Mao Zedong at Tiananmen Square in Beijing on November 6, 2012. The heirs of Mao Zedong convene this week to anoint China's next leaders, as the Communist Party maintains an iron grip on the economic powerhouse despite mounting calls for change in the Internet era.
MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

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No matter who wins the presidency here, he'll soon be dealing with new leaders in China. 

The communist country will hold the 18th Party Congress on Thursday, a hugely important political event completely closed to the outside world. 

This happens while the Chinese ruling elite is being rocked by so much scandal and corruption that even the normally secretive state apparatus can't keep the infighting out of public view.