Chinese President Xi Jinping has cemented his power as a leader and elevated his status in Communist Party history, with major political resolutions announced on the final day of a key political meeting.
On Saturday, the Communist Party (CCP) congress approved amendments to its constitution, including the so-called “Two Establishments” and “Two Guarantees,” aimed at enshrining Xi as the core of the party and its political thought as its underlying ideology. .
Xi began his closing speech around noon, as party officials announced the confirmation of the amendments, which virtually confirmed that Xi would stay in power for another term. Xi, 69, is set to be reaffirmed as party general secretary this weekend, paving the way for him to a groundbreaking third term as China’s president.
The week-long conclave sees thousands of CCP delegates, ostensibly representing the party’s hundreds of millions of members, gather in Beijing. The purpose is largely to rubber-stamp party leadership reshuffles and constitutional changes likely decided long before the meeting begins. The meeting is highly choreographed and mostly behind closed doors. However, shortly before Xi’s speech began, former leader Hu Jintao was escorted out of the room, without explanation.
Since coming to power in 2012, Xi has further cemented his individual power, including leading the elimination of term limits in 2018. Prior to these changes, Xi would have stepped down as leader this week, but instead has the potential to to be the leader for life.
Analysts are closely watching events over the weekend to see if Xi is also officially given the title of “people’s leader,” an honorary title not officially used since Mao Zedong.
On Saturday, delegates also voted to approve Xi’s “work report” presented at the opening of Congress last Sunday, which reviewed the assessment of the previous term and set the direction for the new one.
At its conclusion, the Congress also confirmed the “re-election” of the 200 elite members of the central committee, who have the right to vote within the party. This committee is responsible for electing the 25-member Politburo, of which the seven most powerful are appointed to the Politburo Standing Committee (PSC). The composition of the PSC, including the number one general secretary, will be revealed on Sunday.
The revelation, usually by CPS members marching on stage in order of rank, will be official confirmation that Xi will retain the post of general secretary.