China’s ruling Communist Party enshrined President Xi

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Jinping’s political thought into its constitution on Tuesday, putting him in the same company as the founder of modern China, Mao Zedong, and cementing his power ahead of a second five-year term.

A key Xi ally, top corruption fighter Wang Qishan, will not be on the new Politburo Standing Committee, the apex of power in China, to be revealed on Wednesday as he was not among those named on Tuesday to the 204-member Central Committee.

Whether or not the powerful Wang would remain on the Standing Committee, which currently has seven members, despite being beyond the customary retirement age of 69, had been among the key questions to be answered at the week-long party congress, which ended on Tuesday. Wang could still assume another senior role over the next few months.

As expected, the party unanimously passed an amendment to include “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” as one of its guiding principles.

The party will announce its new Standing Committee, headed by Xi, at around midday (0400 GMT) on Wednesday, culminating a twice-a-decade leadership reshuffle.

As expected, the amended constitution affirmed that Xi’s signature fight against corruption, which has ensnared more than 1.3 million officials, will continue.

Unexpectedly, Xi’s “Belt and Road” initiative, an ambitious programme to build infrastructure linking China with its neighbours and beyond, was also included in the party constitution.

Also included was a commitment to supply-side industrial reforms, and giving play to the “decisive role” of market forces in resource allocation, a commitment Xi had made early in his first terms that many investors say he has failed to deliver on.

If no clear successor to Xi is named to the new Politburo Standing Committee, it will further fuel speculation that Xi may look to retain power beyond the customary second five-year term.

 

 

 

Source: International News agencies