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Chinese leader Xi Jinping is preparing to use the annual parliamentary session, the National People’s Congress, to appoint his most trusted acolytes to tighten political control over financial affairs.

In October, Xi executed a clean sweep of the seven-member Politburo Standing Committee, stacking the Chinese Communist party’s highest decision-making body with loyalists at the quinquennial party congress.

He is expected to mirror the reshuffle of the CCP’s leadership in the government’s top ranks, which will boast a team of new faces drawn heavily from Xi’s past.

Changes come at a sensitive moment for the economy, which was damaged by Xi’s draconian zero-Covid strategy last year and regulatory crackdowns on the tech and property sectors.

Gross domestic product in 2022 grew just 3 percent, well below the official target of 5.5 percent.

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