In a move that paves the way for him to be officially installed as head of state for a new term in March 2023, Xi Jinping won a historic third term at the helm of the Chinese Communist Party on Sunday.
His term as the party’s general secretary was renewed for five years in a closed-door vote following a general conference held every five years, according to the official news agency.
The world needs China
After its renewal, Jinping promised, in statements to reporters from the Peoples Palace in Beijing, to “work hard to achieve the party’s goals and complete the tasks”, stressing that China needs the whole world. “China cannot develop without the world and the world needs China too,” she said.
“After more than forty years of relentless efforts to reform and open up, we have achieved two miracles, rapid economic development and long-term social stability,” he added.
He also expressed his thanks to “all members for the trust they have shown in him “, as he said.
The strongest leader
Interestingly, this third term will make Xi the most powerful leader since the regime’s founder, Mao Zedong (1949-1976).
Neil Thomas, an analyst in the Eurasia Group office, said that “this extension will put an end to three decades of rotation of power” in the country, although in controlled manner, as reported by the AFP.
The shadow committee that governs the country
After a week of deliberations behind closed doors, this renewal came after the conclusion of the ruling party’s 20th conference and after a major amendment by its Central Committee, which serves as the party’s internal parliament.
Its members have been renewed by 65% compared to the 2017 lineup.
This morning, that 205-member committee, including only 11 women, held its first meeting, during which it appointed the 25 members of the Politburo, the party’s decision-making body, and the members of its influential standing committee, which now it is made up of seven members who actually hold power in the country (most of them are allies of the current president).
Among the new faces of that standing committee are Li Qiang, head of the party in Shanghai, Ding Shuixiang, head of Xi Jinping’s office, and Li Xi, head of the Guangdong (Southern) Provincial Party.
It was reported that in 2017 Jinping removed the two-term limit from the constitution, which theoretically allows him to remain at the head of the country for life.
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