The decisions made this week will become public at the 18th Party Congress scheduled later this year.
Officials holding seven of the nine seats in the Politburo Standing Committee — the Chinese Communist Party's top decision-making body — are to retire. Among them are President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao. Vice President Xi Jinping and Vice Premier Li Keqiang, who are already members of the Standing Committee, are expected to replace them.
The party leaders at Beidaihe may also discuss a proposal to reduce the size of the Standing Committee to seven members from nine. That would mean fewer seats for rising party members.
The meeting is being held just after a major internal power struggle. Bo Xilai, party leader in the sprawling city of Chongqing and a contender for the Standing Committee, was removed from his post earlier this year.
Bo and his wife, Gu Kailai were accused of being involved in the death of British businessman Neil Heywood. Gu goes on trial this week for his murder.
Leading candidates to join the Standing Committee include Li Yuanchao, member of the Politburo and head of the party's Organization Department, and Lui Yandong, a member of the Politburo and the State Council. Another likely candidate is Ling Jihua, secretary of the Central Secretariat and the chief of the general office of the CPC Central Committee.
Beidaihe was a regular meeting place for senior party officials until Hu Jintao came to power in 2002. This is the first such meeting since then.
The summit is expected to run into mid-August. VoA.