A plenary session of the Central Committee is a meeting composed of all the full members and alternate members of the Central Committee. During the National Party Congress, the newly elected Central Committee will convene its first plenary session to elect the Political Bureau of the Central Committee and its Standing Committee, and to elect the General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee. The General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee must be elected from members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau. Each National Congress usually holds one plenary session. After the initial plenary session, the Central Committee usually holds at least one plenary session annually which is convened by the Political Bureau of the Central Committee.
Six plenary sessions of the Central Committee have been held since the 15th National Party Congress. The first plenary session was held to elect the members of the central leading body. The second plenary session deliberated and passed the list of names recommended by the Central Committee for the leadership of state authorities, the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, and the Proposals of the State Council on Institutional Reform. The third plenary session addressed issues related to agriculture and rural work. The fourth plenary session addressed issues concerning reform and development of state-owned enterprises. The fifth plenary session discussed the 10th five-year plan for national economic and social development. The sixth plenary session focused on the construction of Party's operational approach. It carries further the spirits of the 15th National Party Congress and at the same time prepares for the coming 16th National Congress.