Come October, Xi Jinping All Set To Be President For Another Term, And Probably For Life

Come October, Xi Jinping All Set To Be President For Another Term, And Probably For Life

by Ujjawal Mishra - Aug 31, 2022 07:17 PM +05:30 IST
Come October, Xi Jinping All Set To Be President For Another Term, And Probably For LifeChinese President-For-Life Xi Jinping. Photo by Lintao Zhang/Pool/Getty Images

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will most likely elect Xi Jinping for an unprecedented third five-year term on 16 October.

Context: China’s Constitution was amended in 2018 by the National People’s Congress, the country’s parliament, removing the two-tenure limit for President.

  • Last year, the Plenary meeting adopted a resolution to cement Xi's 'core' status in the country's political history.

  • It was intended for Xi to extend his rule for a record third term and, perhaps, for life.

  • This privilege has so far only been bestowed upon CCP founder Mao Zedong.

What's in store: A Politburo meeting of the CPC on 30 August, presided over by Xi, has decided to hold the plenary meeting on 9 October.

  • This will be followed by the 20th Congress on 16 October.

  • During the Congress, the party reviews government and party work and endorses plans for the next five years.

  • The key Congress, comprising over 2,000 delegates from all over the country, will endorse a new official team for China.

  • Most of the top officials, including Premier Li Keqiang — in power for the past 10 years — will either retire or get new positions at the Congress.

  • Following the meeting, Xi is expected to attend key international summits, including the G20 to be held in Indonesia 15-16 November.

  • He will also attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Thailand, which begins a day later.

Know Xi: Previously vice president, Xi succeeded Hu Jintao in 2012 and began his tenure with all three powerful posts in China.

  • The posts are — leadership of the party, military, and presidency.

  • Within a short time, he emerged as the most powerful leader after Mao.

  • He quickly consolidated his power by carrying out the biggest anti-corruption campaign in which over a million officials, including dozens of top military officials, were sacked or punished.

  • Xi is known as a 'princeling', as he was the son of former vice-premier Xi Zhongxun, who was persecuted by Mao for his liberal views.

  • Xi transformed his image from a sedate leader into the most ambitious and powerful leader of China soon after his election in 2012.

The past two terms kept his plate full.

  • Xi’s first term was consumed by efforts to reduce high debt, a dwindling demographic dividend, industrial overcapacity, and a campaign to eliminate extreme poverty.

  • His second term was dominated by the trade war with the US and the handling of the coronavirus.

  • The pandemic plunged the relations between the top two economies of the world to the lowest point.

Milestones: Xi advocates the realisation of the "Chinese Dream," the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

  • China has firmly established its control over Hong Kong, diluting its 'one country, two systems' approach.

  • China has stepped up tensions in its bid to integrate Taiwan.

  • Under Xi's watch, the Chinese military engaged in two serious standoffs with the Indian Army — Doklam, 2017, and eastern Ladakh, 2020.

China beset by woes: The economy is in slowdown, hit by Covid-19 lockdowns. The conflicts with the US, EU, Japan, and India are also deepening.

Xi's stated agenda for the upcoming term will be about bringing “common prosperity” to reduce the growing inequalities in the country. He plans a bigger role for state-owned enterprises, blunting the role of the private sector.

Ujjawal Mishra is a Staff Writer at Swarajya. He tweets @Ujjawal1Mishra.
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