Xi Jinping is the most powerful leader in China in decades. Here’s why

Chinese President Xi Jinping has become the third person in the history of the Communist Party to have his name and political ideology enshrined in the party’s Constitution after it was amended at the 19th week-long once-in-five-year national Congress of the Communist Party of China.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: October 24, 2017 6:50 pm
China Communist Party, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Xi Jinping, Mao Zedong, China Communist Party Constitution, Communist Party Constitution, World News, Latest World News, Indian Express, Indian Express News Chinese President Xi Jinping (AP)

Chinese President Xi Jinping has become the third person in the history of the Communist Party to have his name and political ideology enshrined in the party’s Constitution after it was amended at the 19th week-long once-in-five-year national Congress of the Communist Party of China. The CPC endorsed a second five-year term for Xi and  included his name in the Constitution, effectively elevating him to the pedestal occupied by the party’s founder Mao Zedong and Mao’s successor Deng Xiaoping. He is also

The ideology given by Xi — Socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era — was included in the party’s constitution at the end of the Congress as part of a resolution and as a new component of the Communist Party’s guide for action. Prior to Xi, former presidents Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin’s political thoughts were also included in the party’s constitution. However, their names were not included like Mao and Deng. After Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory, Jiang Zemin’s Thought of Three Represents and Hu Jintao’s The Scientific Outlook on Development political thoughts were included in the party’s constitution without the propounders being named.

Xi is the third leader to be included by name in the CPC constitution after ‘Mao Zedong Thought’ and ‘Deng Xiaoping Theory’. Former presidents Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao also included their political philosophies in the constitution — ‘Thought of Three Represents’ and ‘The Scientific Outlook on Development’, but without being named.

Likewise, Xi is regarded as one of the most powerful political leaders in China in recent times. His ideology was popularly regarded as ‘the four-pronged comprehensive strategy’, but it was christened the the 19th NC. Terms like ‘Xiism’ or ‘Jinpingism’ have come up in recent years as well.

Addressing the nearly 2,300 delegates assembled at the Great Hall of the People, the seat of power for China’s Communist leadership, Xi said: “The Chinese people and nation have a great and bright future ahead. At this great time, we feel more self-confident and proud. At the same time, we also deeply feel a heavy sense of responsibility,” he said.

A new set of leaders that had the backing of Xi were also elected at the Congress. A new Central Committee was also elected that will lead the party in the coming five years. The CPC Central Committee will then be tasked with electing the Politburo which is China’s top ruling council, the Politburo Standing Committee, and the General Secretary at its first plenary session on Wednesday.

Xi,64, and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang,62, will remain on the first and second positions, respectively, in the CPC hierarchy as provided under the two five-year tenure convention for the party’s top leadership. For the seven member Standing Committee, five new members will be elected. President Xi and Premier Li came to power in 2012 and are set to hold power till 2022.

Xi, regarded as the most powerful Chinese leader in recent times heading the party, presidency and the military too is expected to retire by 2022 after his second term.

But speculation is rife that he would break that retirement age convention and may continue for a third term considering his powerful stature in the party.

Xi’s strategy comprised “the building of a moderately prosperous society’ before CPC celebrates its centenary in 2021, ‘upholding the rule of law’, ‘enforcing party discipline’ and ‘deepening reform’.

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