Xi Jinping: among the greatest in China

The current Chinese president manages to be embedded in history as a reference for the world

Xi Jinping: among the greatest in China

Leer en Español: Xi Jinping: Entre los más grandes de China

The Chinese President Xi Jinping is officially the most powerful man in China for the first time in decades. At the close of the 19th Communist Party Congress in Beijing's Great Hall of the People, the list of the names of those who will accompany the current president on the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party during the next five years. The president, with the list of new members of the committee, made the public understand that there is no possible successor for the year 2022.

President Xi Jinping and his Prime Minister Li Keqiang, who have had second terms over the last five years, will be accompanied by five new politicians during the next term, together forming part of the political elite. Among these new members should be the successor of Xi Jinping  due to the fact that, back in the 1990s, the government set a limit of one decade per president, but it seems as if this is not going to happen this time around due to the fact that there doesn’t seem to be a possible successor among the new members.

The five new members are:

  • Wang Yang, 62, was party secretary in Guangdong Province and is now deputy prime minister.
  • Han Zheng, 63, party secretary in Shanghai will lead the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, a political advisory body.
  • Zhao Leji, 60, will be in charge of the anti-corruption bureau.
  • Li Zhanshu, 67, will lead the Communist Party General Office and will be Xi's right-hand man since they have already worked together on diplomatic levels
  • Wang Huning, 62, will be at the head of the Central Bureau of Political Research

The new members are all over 60 years of age and, therefore, in the next important political rendezvous they will not be able to remain within that Committee since the retirement age for high ranking politicians of the regime is 68 and there is no exception.

With this hurdle, Xi Jinping closes the door on his possible successor  and presents the possibility to continue in power for more than a decade. If this is the case, which is not remote, it will be a historical change that will bury the collective leadership that, for twenty years, has characterized the authoritarian Chinese regime.

Read also: Xi Jinping: what does the future of China look like?

But another reason to consolidate him with so much power is the Communist Party's acceptance to include Xi Jinping's Thought of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era in its Constitution as a new theoretical reference that, from now, will be studied in schools. In the words of said author about this step forward, " [it] is summed up in the great Chinese dream of rejuvenation of the nation: the return of China to the role of world leader, whether in the economic, political or military”.

Now, we must wait five more years to know if a line of succession has been created or whether it will be Xi Jinping's assertion in power indefinitely. It is enough to note that the changes brought on by Xi have been profound and brought China closer to the world, so it is possible to think that the Chinese leader is the card that the Asian country needs to better position itself within the international society.


Latin American Post | Carlos Eduardo Gómez Avella

Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto

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