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China's President Xi Jinping speaks during the ceremony to mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of the China's People's Liberation Army at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China August 1, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj(reuters_tickers)
By Benjamin Kang Lim and Philip Wen
BEIJING (Reuters) - President Xi Jinping of China is expected to place trusted allies in the Communist Party's key decision-making Politburo during a leadership reshuffle at the 19th party Congress this autumn, according to multiple Chinese sources and foreign diplomats.
A key measure of Xi's power will be how many of his allies are installed on the 25-member committee.
At least 10 Politburo members are slated to retire due to an unwritten rule that politicians step down if they are 68 or older when they take on a new five-year term.
And the youngest Politburo member, Sun Zhengcai, 53, is out of the running. He served as Chongqing party boss before being put under investigation in July for disciplinary violations, Communist Party jargon for corruption.
The fate of the top corruption watchdog, Wang Qishan, 69, is also the subject of widespread conjecture. It is unclear if he will retain his seat in the elite seven-member Politburo Standing Committee, despite his age, and therefore his spot on the wider Politburo.
The State Council Information Office, which doubles as the spokesman's office for the cabinet and party, declined to comment on Politburo candidates when reached by telephone and fax.
Possible newcomers to the Politburo among Xi's allies (surnames in alphabetical order):
(This version of the story corrects entry on Cai Qi, makes clear that since 1987 the Beijing party chief office-holder, not Cai himself, has also had a seat on the Politburo)
(Reporting by Benjamin Kang Lim and Philip Wen; Editing by Tony Munroe)