China's Communist Party began its twice-a-decade congress on Oct. 18 in Beijing as over 2,000 representatives from around the country gathered.

During the week-long major political event through Oct. 24, the party decides on its long-term policies, makes amendments to the party's constitution and chooses members to key party positions. 

The 19th National Congress is held at Beijing's Great Hall of the People.

About 2,200 representatives selected among the nation's 89 million communist party members take part in the congress.

Some 200 will be newly elected to the party's central committee during the event.

Participants include representatives of ethnic minority groups. 

Security has been tightened in the city ahead of the meeting amid fears of potential protest demonstrations. China faces persistent criticisms for suppressing democracy campaigners and ethnic minorities.

A banner urging people to unite around China's President Xi Jinping has been posted in the city.

Xi Jinping delivers a political report at the congress for the first time. The speech in 2012 congress was made by his predecessor Hu Jintao.

China's national flag is hoisted in Tiananmen Square.

Attendees sing the national anthem at the congress.

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