Xi Jinping Will Be Crowned China’s Most Powerful Leader Since Mao | 10 facts | world news

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The Chinese Communist Party will convene its 20th Congress on Oct. 16 in Beijing, during which Xi Jinping is expected to secure a third term as president, while a new senior leadership lineup will also be unveiled.

Xi, 69, is set to become China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong.

The congress, which takes place every five years, comes as Xi faces significant political headwinds, including a struggling economy, deteriorating relations with the United States and a strict zero-Covid policy that has accelerated China’s withdrawal from the world.

What to look for from the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of China:

1. Xi is widely expected to be reinstated as president for a third term – unprecedented in the contemporary era. Xi joined China’s leadership pantheon in 2012, two decades after bursting onto the scene as a corruption-fighting governor.

2. China’s auto-approval parliament bolstered Xi’s considerable power in 2018 when it approved a constitutional amendment abolishing presidential term limits. The move has allowed Xi to stay in power as long as he wants and is the latest feather in the cap of a communist “princely” who is remaking China in his own image.

3. Xi holds three key titles – general secretary of the Communist Party, chairman of the central military commission and president. He is expected to retain the top two titles in the Party Congress and the presidency at the annual National People’s Congress in March 2023.

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5. A third term as party general secretary would break the standard his two predecessors adhered to for stepping down after 10 years, or two full terms.

6. While Xi has consolidated his unprecedented power since Mao Zedong founded the People’s Republic in 1949, there is no indication that he will adopt the title of party chairman. The first two Chinese leaders to succeed Mao, Hua Guofeng and Hu Yaobang, held the title of president. It has not been used since 1982.

7. Xi is the first Chinese leader to be born after 1949, when Mao’s communist forces seized power after a long civil war. His father’s purge brought years of hardship for the family, but he rose through the ranks of the party nonetheless.

8. Beginning as county-level party secretary in 1969, Xi rose to governor of coastal Fujian province in 1999, then party chief of Zhejiang province in 2002 and finally Shanghai in 2007.

9. Xi’s face dominates the nation’s headlines, while his exploits and directives regularly make the evening headlines. The 2017 Communist Party Congress confirmed Xi’s induction into the leadership pantheon alongside Mao and market reformer Deng Xiaoping by enshrining his name and political ideology in the party constitution.

10. In November last year, China’s top leaders passed an important resolution on the party’s past, tying Xi more closely to the CCP’s history. It was only the third such resolution issued in the party’s 100-year history, after two under leaders Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, and was intended to consolidate the party’s achievements while providing a ideological route for his maintenance in power.

(With contributions from AFP, Reuters)


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