Ground Report | New Delhi: XI Jinping’s Third term; One year away from a congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) which must devote him to the head of the Party-State for five more years, Xi Jinping is not content to place his followers in key positions, to resume mainstream business or to increase its control over civil society.
XI Jinping’s Third term
The powerful Chinese leader also intends to rewrite history. A resolution “historic” to be adopted at the 6th plenum of the Central Committee of the Party that opens Monday in Beijing and in-camera some 370 members (ministers, service chiefs, provincial governors) up ‘on Thursday.
Xi, who is also the party’s general secretary, presented a draft resolution on the party’s “great achievements and historical experience” at the opening of the Central Committee plenary session, which began on Monday.
The academics say the text will be the party’s third major declaration in its 100-year history, reinforcing Xi’s position as the equal of the founder of the People’s Republic of China and his successor, Deng Xiaoping, who oversaw crucial economic reforms.
China removed the term limit for the presidency in 2018, which could keep Xi in power for the rest of his life. He was expected to be re-elected as the party’s leader in 2022 through an obscure process at the party’s congress, which is held every five years.
This week’s meeting of about 200 members of the Central Committee concluded on Thursday with the publication of the document.
Xi has already given his opinion through public statements, and the statement on the party’s history is not expected to come as any surprise, said Yang Yang, a professor at the School of Political Science and Public Administration of the China University of Political Science and Law.
Basically, the document will summarize China’s rise from foreign domination, its economic rise and its conversion into a world power, Yang said.
Third resolution since 1945
The text of this resolution will not be published until the end of the plenum, but the time chosen to adopt it is essential. It is only the third of its kind in the 100-year-old history of the Party. The first dates back to 1945 and was intended to cement Mao Zedong’s victory at the head of the Party. The second dates from 1981 and was aimed for Deng Xiaoping to criticize the Cultural Revolution (deemed “a serious mistake”) and to regain the support of the people to carry out economic reforms.
By adopting its own historic resolution, “Xi Jinping wants to rewrite the history of the Party, to consolidate and legitimize Xi era perpetuating his rule beyond the XXth Party Congress,” said Jean-Pierre Cabestan, a researcher at CNRS and associate researcher at Asia Center.
A decade after coming to power, Xi faces no obvious rivals in the party and has established himself in the position through a stable economy, an assertive foreign policy, a major Army upgrade, and a still-open campaign against corruption that has sentenced to retired and active high-level officials.
At the same time, there has been harsh repression against religious groups and human rights activists. More than a million members of Muslim minorities have been subjected to mass arrests and political indoctrination.
Freedom of speech and opposition have also been drastically curtailed in the semi-autonomous city of Hong Kong, and military threats against self-governed Taiwan have been redoubled.
The plenum that opens in Beijing is the last annual high mass of the CCP before the 2022 autumn congress, which will mark Xi Jinping’s ten years in power. After two terms, he should have said his political farewell next year. This was without counting the reform of the Constitution paving the way for a third five-year term, or even a life presidency of China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong. (XI Jinping’s Third term)
If the strongman of Beijing did not only make friends by wanting to stay in power, “Xi’s obtaining a historic resolution shows that he continues to consolidate his political authority within the Party despite the headwinds economically, ” notes Eurasia Group think tank.
It is unlikely that Xi Jinping will outright deny Deng Xiaoping’s policies of reform and openness or announce a return to Maoism. Xi Jinping does not give up ideology or economic growth to establish his power. Supposed to celebrate the main achievements of the Party during its hundred years of existence, the resolution is expected to end with an exaltation of the successes of Xi Jinping’s tenure to show that the path taken by China is the right one, analysts say.