Cementing China’s ruling Communist Party President Xi Jinping’s power ahead of a new top leadership line-up and placing him in the same company as the founder of modern China, Mao Zedong, the Communist Party enshrined his political thought into its constitution on Tuesday.
Identifying them as one of its guiding principles at the end of its week-long congress, the party unanimously passed the amendment to include “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era”.
Culminating a twice-a-decade leadership reshuffle, the party will announce its new Standing Committee, the apex of power in China, around midday on Wednesday. Seven members make up the current committee.
Giving play to the “decisive role” of market forces in resource allocation, Xi’s “Belt and Road” development initiative, supply-side reforms, the continuation of fight against corruption and the party’s “absolute” leadership over the military were issues that were also included in the amended constitution of the party.
“The congress holds that the leadership of the Communist Party of China is the most essential attribute of socialism with Chinese characteristics and the greatest strength of this system,” the party said in a statement.
“The party exercises overall leadership over all areas of endeavour in every part of the country,” it said.
A key measure of Xi’s power and the process of elevating him to the level of previous leaders exemplified by Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory was the question of whether Xi was able to have his name “crowned” in the party constitution.
While in office, an eponymous ideology by no other leader has never been included in the document other than Mao. Deng’s name was added after his death in 1997.
Without their names directly attached. the party constitution had been earlier amended to include the guiding thoughts of Xi’s more recent predecessors, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao.
While Hu, Xi’s immediate predecessor, had his economic doctrine of “scientific development” included, Jiang had his “Three Represents” embracing private entrepreneurs written in, while Hu.
Since assuming party leadership in late 2012, Xi has rapidly consolidated power and had been made the country’s president in the very next year.
In what has been seen as an even that has helped him to significantly strengthening his position ahead of the congress, which is held once every five years, a year ago, the party gave Xi the title of “core” leader.
Indicating that he will not be on the new Standing Committee, the anti-corruption tsar and current Standing Committee member Wang Qishan was not included in the new Central Committee, the largest of its elite ruling bodies, the party also announced.
However, he could be given another role that is not decided for a few months.
Also included in the central committee were front runners to succeed Zhou Xiaochuan as central bank governor, veteran banker Jiang Chaoliang, and China’s top banking regulator, Guo Shuqing, both.
(Adapted from CNBC)