Xi Jinping moves to expand rule as top Communist Party rivals retire

Delegates to the twice-a-decade Party congress, which concluded on Saturday, reaffirmed Mr. Xi’s status as the “essential” and dedicated leader of the Party. his policies As part of the ruling party charter. These include building a more equal economy and First class militaryBesides his demand for more fighting spirit among the party’s nearly 97 million members.

The decision to revise the party’s charter, which was unanimously approved by about 2,300 congressional delegates in the Beijing Great Hall of Beijing, said the people.

Delegates appointed a new Central Committee, made up of 205 full members and 171 alternate members, which conspicuously omitted some senior officials seen as having adverse influences against Mr. Xi’s camp.

Among the most notable absentees was Prime Minister Li Keqiang, the second-ranked leader of China, who at times was Issuing signals on economic policy That goes against the views of Mr. Shi. Mr. Li’s removal from the new Central Committee indicates his retirement from the party’s highest decision-making body, the Politburo Standing Committee.

Although Mr. Lee, 67, is set to step down as prime minister next spring after serving the two terms allowed under China’s constitution, some analysts have speculated that he may remain in the leadership in another position.

The Chinese leader, Wang Yang, who was ranked fourth, was once seen as a contender to become the next prime minister, nor was he re-elected to the Central Committee. Two other members of the outgoing seven-man Politburo Standing Committee were also absent, although some political analysts expected top legislator Li Zhanshu, 72, and Executive Vice Premier Han Zheng, 68, to step down due to age.

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Their departure paves the way for Mr. Xi’s allies and followers to secure key positions in the party and state over the next five years. The Chinese leader is expected to assume a third term as general secretary on Sunday, in breach of the 10-year leadership cycle set by his predecessor.

Saturday’s proceedings were marked by a brief uproar when Mr. Xi’s predecessor, Hu Jintao, left the meeting venue unexpectedly, in a rare departure from the highly-designed sessions of party elite rallies.

Footage shows former Chinese leader Hu Jintao escorting him outside the podium at the Communist Party Congress, sitting next to President Xi Jinping. Beijing did not immediately respond to questions about what happened. Photo: Mark R. Christino/Shutterstock

Media footage showed Hu, 79, who was secretary-general from 2002 to 2012, being helped from his chair at the conference platform, as he took a seat next to Mr. Xi. The footage showed that Mr. Ho appeared reluctant or unable to stand when his assistant tried to lift him from his chair. Hu Jintao then exchanged words with the current leader and patted Premier Li before leaving the stage accompanied by two men.

It was not clear why Master Hu had left or where he had gone. China’s State Council did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Verified


The account operated by China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency said Mr Hu “was not feeling well during the session” and left to rest in a room next to the meeting venue. “Now, it’s much better,” said the account.

The composition of the new Central Committee as well as the Party’s Supreme Disciplinary Committee, also elected on Saturday, indicates that the current Guangdong Party Chairman, Li Xi, is likely to become the next Mr. Xi. anti-Corruption Caesar. The Wall Street Journal reported this week that Mr. Lee, who once served as secretary to a revolutionary veteran with close ties to Mr. Xi’s family, is likely to join the party’s top leadership and lead the disciplinary committee.

The new Central Committee will meet on Sunday to choose the next Politburo, which recently has 25 members, and its elite standing committee.

The Journal reported earlier this week that the next Standing Committee is likely to be packed with Mr. Xi’s allies. Among them are Shanghai’s party chief Li Qiang, the front-runner for prime minister next spring, and Ding Shuxiang, Mr. Xi’s chief of staff, who is executive vice president.

Prominent party theorist Wang Huning and anti-corruption czar Zhao Lijie are likely to join Mr. Xi as the only two members of the current standing committee to secure another term in the top leadership, although both are likely to take up new ministerial positions, the paper said.

The new Central Committee will meet on Sunday to choose the next Politburo.


Woo Hao / shutterstock

The share of seats held by Xi’s allies in the next leadership will provide clues to how much influence the Chinese leader can wield. Follow his priorities. Analysts say Mr. Xi is unlikely to appoint any potential successors, as doing so would undermine his authority.

Appointments to senior state positions, including that of the next prime minister and other ministerial roles, will not be completed until China’s annual legislative session next spring.

Some of Mr. Xi’s top aides also resigned from the Central Committee on Saturday, including Vice Premier Liu He, 70, and China’s top diplomat, Yang Jiechi, 72. This means that both men, who were expected to retire, will leave their Politburo. seats.

The conference put their potential alternatives in a position to escalate. He Lifeng, 67-year-old head of China’s State Economic Planning Agency, and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, 69, were among 205 officials appointed as full members of the new Central Committee. Paving their way to join the Political Bureau Sunday.

The new Central Committee lineup also confirmed expectations among party insiders that Mr. Xi would overturn recent succession criteria in Chinese politics, which were developed as a way to prevent a return to a Mao-style dictatorship.

At the party conventions between 2002 and 2012, the party followed Unofficial Retirement Guide Officials 67 or younger have been able to start new terms in the party leadership, while those 68 or older have stepped aside — a practice known as “seven up, eight down.”

Mr. Xi began bending that standard at the 2017 conference, when he pushed many of the 25-member Politburo into retirement even though they were younger than 67. leadership.

On Saturday, the 69-year-old Mr. Xi led the way in breaching the “eight down” precedent by remaining on the Central Committee, along with other loyalists aged 68 or older – including General Zhang Yuxia, aged 72 years old – Deputy Chairman of the Central Military Commission.

write to Chun Han Wong at [email protected] and Keith Zhai at [email protected]

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