Dynamic Xi consolidates China
XI Jinping, is elected as General Secretary of the Communist Party for 3rd five-year tenure by the new seven-member Standing Committee packed with his supporters, appeared before the local and foreign media to herald the new era, widely termed ‘Xi era’.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has created history, becoming the first leader of the ruling Communist Party after party founder Mao Zedong to get re-elected for an unprecedented third term in power with the prospect of ruling China for life.
New members of the Politburo Standing Committee, front to back, President Xi Jinping, Li Qiang, Zhao Leji, Wang Huning, Cai Qi, Ding Xuexiang, and Li Xi arrived at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
Xi’s election for the third-term in power formally ended over three decades rule followed by his predecessors, barring Mao, of retiring after a 10-year tenure. Xi was first elected in 2012 and will be completing his 10-year tenure this year.
With moderates like Premier Li Keqiang, who was ranked number two, eased out in the election to over 300-member Central Committee by the once-in-a-five-year Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the Committee which met elected 25-member Political Bureau.
The Political Bureau elected a seven-member Standing Committee, which in turn elected Xi for a third five-year term as General Secretary.
Much on the expected lines, Xi is elected to the Central Committee to the Political Bureau and the Standing Committee and then as General Secretary with relative ease as the Congress passed the key amendment to the Party’s Constitution reinforcing his core status with the directive that all party members have the obligation to follow his directives and doctrines.
Xi’s emergence as the most powerful leader as President, party leader and head of the military with prospect of leader for life in the footsteps of Mao, whose extremist ideological campaigns like the Cultural Revolution resulting extermination of millions, is widely expected to be viewed with sense of unease and concern as the one-party state has now become one-leader state.
New Politburo Standing Committee members Xi Jinping, Li Qiang, Zhao Leji, Wang Huning, Cai Qi, Ding Xuexiang and Li Xi met the media following the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
The well-choreographed week-long 20th Congress ended on a sordid note with former President Hu Jintao being physically escorted out under the glare of the media at the ornate Great Hall of people. The incident is seen as an irony as 79-year-old Hu had peacefully handed over power to Xi ten years ago in 2012.
A different central administration headed by the new premier will formally take place in March. The party Congress also approved an amendment of the party Constitution that could further enhance Xi’s stature as China’s leader.
Xi, in his brief closing remarks, said the revision of the Constitution sets out clear requirements for upholding and strengthening the party’s overall leadership.
Xi asks his fellows to dare to struggle, dare to win, bury heads, work hard and determine to keep forging ahead. China must be ready to withstand high winds, choppy waters and even dangerous storms.
Confronted with drastic changes in the international landscape, especially external attempts to blackmail, contain, and blockade China. China has put its national interests first.
The CPC Congress has realized its goals of unifying thinking, fortifying confidence, charting the course and boosting morale. The Congress has also appointed new team of anti-corruption wing of the party called the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), which directly functions under Xi.
The CCDI has punished about five million officials, including many top army generals, in the last 10 years. Xi’s shock and awe campaign helped him to consolidate his hold on power.
Resolutions are passed at the Congress eulogized Xi and his ideas, merging Marxism with Socialism with Chinese characteristics.
A resolution on an amendment to the Constitution of the CPC is adopted that all party members should follow Xi’s leadership.
The Congress calls on party organizations at all levels and all-party members to follow the firm leadership of the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi at the core, holding high the great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era is the Marxism of contemporary China and of the 21st Century and embodies the best Chinese culture and ethos of this era.
Another lengthy resolution on the work of the previous Congress stresses that Marxism is the fundamental guiding ideology upon which the CPC and the country are founded and thrive.
The Congress stresses that achieving the goals for the centenary of the People’s Liberation Army in 2027 and more quickly elevating the people’s armed forces to world-class standards are strategic tasks for building a modern socialist country in all respects.
The Congress calls on the whole party, the entire military, and the Chinese people of all ethnic groups to stay closely rallied around the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi at its core, to keep in mind that empty talk will do nothing for the country and only solid work will make it flourish.
Premier Shehbaz Sharif’s coming official visit to China will cement bilateral political and diplomatic relationships. For economic development we need to follow Chinese model of economy. It will be a beginning of new era.
—The writer is editor, book ambassador political analyst, author of several books based in Islamabad.