There were several peculiar features of the Chinese Communist Party's 10th Congress, held from 24 to 28 August 1973, which in themselves introduce the question of the purpose of the Congress. One of the oddities, as measured by the CCP's previous practice as well as that of other ruling parties, was that there was no prior announcement or Central Committee plenum setting the stage for the Congress. The first official announcement was a press communique issued on 29 August, the day after the Congress closed. Another surprising feature was the unusual brevity of the Congress, which lasted only five days. And even that short time was not totally devoted to Congress proceedings; a ceremony marking the opening of a tricontinental table tennis tournament drew a full turnout of currently active leaders on the evening of the Congress's second day. More strikingly, the Sinkiang regional party chief, Saifudin, who was to be elected an alternate member of the Politburo at the plenum held two days after the Congress, was present at his distant home base to attend the Sinkiang trade union and women's Congresses while the national Party Congress was in session. He may not have missed very much: unlike previous congresses, no speeches were reportedly made other than the official Central Committee documents submitted on the first day.