Times Publications

China enshrines ’Xi Jinping Thought’, key Xi ally to step down

China’s ruling Communist Party enshrined President Xi Jinping’s political thought into its constitution on Tuesday, putting him in the same company as the founder of modern China, Mao Zedong, and cementing his power ahead of a second five-year term.

Posted by Reuters News on Tuesday, 24th October 2017

A key Xi ally, top corruption fighter Wang Qishan, will not be on the new Politburo Standing Committee, the apex of power in China. Whether or not the powerful Wang would remain on the Standing Committee, which currently has seven members, despite being beyond the customary retirement age of 69, had been among the key questions to be answered at the week-long party congress, which ended on Tuesday. Wang could still assume another senior role over the next few months.

As expected, the party unanimously passed an amendment to include “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” as one of its guiding principles.

The party will announce its new Standing Committee, headed by Xi, at around midday (0400 GMT) on Wednesday, culminating a twice-a-decade leadership reshuffle. And the amended constitution affirmed that Xi’s signature fight against corruption, which has ensnared more than 1.3 million officials, will continue.

The party will announce its new Standing Committee, headed by Xi, at around midday (0400 GMT) on Wednesday, culminating a twice-a-decade leadership reshuffle. And the amended constitution affirmed that Xi’s signature fight against corruption, which has ensnared more than 1.3 million officials, will continue.

Unexpectedly, Xi’s “Belt and Road” initiative, an ambitious programme to build infrastructure linking China with its neighbours and beyond, was also included in the party constitution.

Also included was a commitment to supply-side industrial reforms, and giving play to the “decisive role” of market forces in resource allocation, a commitment Xi had made early in his first terms that many investors say he has failed to deliver on.

“The party exercises overall leadership over all areas of endeavour in every part of the country,” the party said in a statement reflecting Xi’s ongoing efforts to strengthen the party and its place in contemporary Chinese society.

If no clear successor to Xi is named to the new Politburo Standing Committee, it will further fuel speculation that Xi may look to retain power beyond the customary second five-year term.

“This is about further erasing any distinction between Xi Jinping and the party,” said by observers and experts of analysis in Beijing, referring to Xi’s thought getting into the constitution.

“Add on to this having supply-side structural reform and the Belt and Road written into this, which were Xi’s signature policies, this makes questioning or non-compliance with those tantamount to betrayal of the party.”

“The party control was needed to push through the market reforms key to restructuring the world’s second-largest economy. To build a market economic system in such a big country, it’s impossible without the leadership of the party,” the experts also said, “When you put ‘supply-side reform’ and ‘market playing a decisive role’ in the same document, then that just shows they have to almost choose one,”

So China’s blue-chip shares climbed to a 26-month high on Tuesday, led by infrastructure and property stocks, as Xi wrapped up a congress that began with his three-and-a half hour speech envisioning a more prosperous, confident China. The yuan strengthened against the dollar.

Xi rapidly consolidated power after assuming party leadership in late 2012 and then the presidency the next year. The party gave Xi the title of “core” leader a year ago, a significant strengthening of his position.

Whether Xi was able to have his name “crowned” in the party constitution had been seen as a key measure of his power, elevating him to a level of previous leaders exemplified by Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory.

Editor: Judy Zhu




Belt and Road Portal

- is a development strategy proposed by China's paramount leader Xi Jinping that focuses on connectivity and cooperation between Eurasian countries.

China Import Export Fair

- or Canton Fair is a trade fair held in the spring and autumn seasons each year since the spring of 1957 in Canton, China.

Department for International Trade

- is a United Kingdom government department responsible for striking and extending trade agreements between the United Kingdom and non EU states.
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