Xi Jinping tightens his grip
Islam News – To no one’s surprise, Xi Jinping has formally secured a third term as head of China’s Communist Party.
He thoroughly shook up the party’s top tiers, elevating loyalists and forcing out moderates. In so doing, Xi consolidated his power and created a new ruling elite primed to elevate his agenda of bolstering national security and turning China into a technological great power. And in a moment packed with symbolism, Hu Jintao, who presided over one of China’s more open and prosperous periods, was ushered out of an important political meeting.
Xi chose six men with longstanding ties to him for the Politburo Standing Committee, the top echelon of the party. Wang Huning, his chief theoretician, remains on the body, a sign that hard-line policies and the role of ideology will persist. Xi also appointed to the Politburo, the party’s second tier, a number of domestic security officials and military commanders, as well as several people with backgrounds in science and engineering.
As Xi tightens his control, Beijing is likely to remain defiant in the face of international criticism of its authoritarian policies. Notably, at the party congress this week, Xi did not mention two long-repeated maxims about peace and strategic opportunity. The omissions revealed Xi’s anxieties about an increasingly volatile world, and warned of a looming conflict with the U.S. for global dominance.
Analysis: To supporters, Xi’s centralized control and continuity are strengths. But some argue that ousting critics could leave Xi’s government vulnerable to failures like its mismanagement during the early days of Covid-19.
Standing Committee: New appointees include Ding Xuexiang, Xi’s right-hand man, and Li Qiang, who worked under Xi when they were local officials in Zhejiang Province. Li oversaw a contentious Covid lockdown in Shanghai and is now in line to become China’s new premier.
For the first time in decades, no women will be on the Politburo.
Hu Chunhua, once seen as a potential successor to Premier Li Keqiang, has been sidelined: He’s not in the Standing Committee or the Politburo.
Source: The New York Times