Beijing, 23 October 2022 (dpa/MIA) – Xi Jinping on Sunday was confirmed as general secretary of China’s Communist Party’s for a rare third term, disregarding traditionally respected age and term limits and cementing his grip on power.
At its first plenary session, the new Central Committee of the party voted, as expected, for the 69-year-old to continue as leader for another five-year term.
A day earlier the National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, held only every five years, amended the party constitution to more deeply reflect Xi’s ideology and enshrine his leadership role.
Some 2,300 delegates of the party that rules the country of 1.4 billion people adopted the amendments at the end of the week-long congress in Beijing on Saturday.
Xi has been general secretary of China’s Communist Party since 2012.
The delegates supported the inclusion of several theoretical concepts in the constitution: Among them are the “Two Establishments,” which establish Xi’s position of power as the core of the party and “Xi Jinping’s ideas for Chinese-style socialism in a new era” as guiding principles.
Other slogans were also added, demanding loyalty, integrity, support for the leadership and adherence to the party line from the 96 million party members.
Following the meeting, Xi introduced his new leadership team, made up of loyal followers, during a press briefing.
Beside him on the podium was his close confidant Li Qiang, Shanghai party chief and seen as a likely new head of government in March, although he has faced criticism for his handling of the city’s pandemic lockdowns.
He would replace Li Keqiang, who is retiring early from the committee, dispelling rumours that he would move from being premier to become head of parliament in March. During his term, there were reports of differences with Xi.
China’s Standing Committee now also includes the head of the powerful Discipline Commission Zhao Leji, and chief ideologue Wang Huning, who expected to become head of parliament next year.
Its new members include Beijing party chief Cai Qi, Xi’s chief of staff and close confidant Ding Xuexiang, and the party chief of the key Guangdong province, Li Xi.
Meanwhile there were also notable absences in the new Central Committee of 370 members and candidates, with key members of the former economic team no longer present even though not all are old enough to retire.