Chinese Communist Party amends constitution, Xi set for 3rd term as President
Possible replacements left out in major shake-up at party congress.
NEW DELHI: Chinese President Xi Jingping is all set for an unprecedented third five-year term as he has tightened his stranglehold on the Communist Party, cementing his position by getting the party constitution amended to grant him more powers. On Saturday, he was ‘elected’ to the powerful central committee of the party – a precursor to being named the party’s general secretary who will lead the party and the country.
Notably, several top leaders including Premier Li Keqiang and former Guangdong party leader Wang Yang have been left out in the major shake-up at the top. Both of them were viewed as replacements for Xi. The decisions were taken at the once-in-a-five-year party congress, which concluded on Saturday. According to political observers, the entire event was stage-managed to ensure Xi’s continuity in office.
Close to 2,300 party delegates attended the meeting. A few hours before the conclusion of the meeting, Xi gave a speech. “Dare to struggle, dare to win, bury your heads and work hard. Be determined to keep forging ahead.’’ On Sunday, the central committee will meet to elect a 25-member political bureau, which in turn will choose seven or more members to the standing committee to govern the country.
Xi’s closest aides and loyalists are expected to make it to these bodies. The new leadership will be officially announced on Sunday. Xi will walk into a room of full of media personnel at the Great Hall of the People, followed by the other members of the new standing committee in descending order of rank. Xi, who is completing a 10- year tenure this year, will be the first Chinese leader after Mao Zedong to continue in power, ending three decades of the rule followed by his predecessors to retire after two five-year tenures.
It also means Xi could continue to remain in power for life. The amendments in the party charter say Xi will be the ‘core’ leader and that all party members are obligated to uphold Xi’s core status. The amendments said the party would enhance military capabilities by introducing reforms and scientific advances and embracing new talent.
HU JINTAO FORCIBLY REMOVED FROM CPC VENUE
Former Chinese president Hu Jintao was on Saturday forcibly removed from the venue of the Communist Party Congress. Hu, seated beside Xi Jinping, appeared reluctant when asked to leave by the security staff. An official then put his hands under Hu’s armpits and literally tried to pull him out of his chair. After a brief exchange, Hu relented and was escorted out. All this happened under Xi’s watch.