China’s leader Xi Jinping cemented his authority on Nov. 11 by directing the ruling Chinese Communist Party to approve a historic resolution that sought to place Xi as an equal among the most influential figures in the regime’s history.
“Establishing Xi Jinping’s core position to the Central Committee and the entire Party,” as well as the “guiding role” of Xi Jinping ideology, “has decisive significance to pushing the Chinese nation toward a grand rejuvenation,” senior Party officials said at the end of a four-day, closed-door meeting of more than 300 elite Party members in Beijing, according to a readout from the state media.
The resolution approved on Nov. 11 was the third of its kind that the regime has adopted during its 100-year history, effectively placing Xi alongside two of his most powerful predecessors: Mao Zedong, the communist regime’s first leader, and Deng Xiaoping, who oversaw the relaxation of some of the rigid central planning that allowed the Chinese economy to recover in the late 1970s.
At the meeting, known as the Sixth Plenum, Xi, who has now presided over the regime for nearly a decade, was credited for creating his own school of thought, which officials praised as the “essence” of “contemporary Marxism” and as the “spirit of the Chinese nation.”
Xi is expected to secure another five-year term in 2022 during the 20th National Party Congress, a move that would break a near-three-decade tradition of limiting Party leaders to just two terms.
Over the past several months, Xi has overseen an escalating political and economic reform campaign that has touched on an array of sectors across Chinese society, a move experts say served as one of the steps for him to secure his bid for another term.
The end-of-meeting communique was in part an effusive tribute to Xi. It said the Party under his leadership had “defeated a series of major risks and challenges” and had advanced the country toward a “historical transformation”—the examples it gave include Xi’s sweeping anti-corruption campaign, the remaking of Hong Kong, and the regime’s “dominant position” regarding Taiwan.
The more than 7,000-word-long text divided the Party’s history into four phases, with Xi defined as the key leader in the regime’s “new era” as the Party moves past its first 100 years, having turned a century old earlier in 2021. This section outlining the final phase was longer than the previous three sections combined.
Party delegates unanimously voted in favor of the resolution with a show of hands, video footage from state broadcaster CCTV shows.
Yeau-tarn Lee, a Taiwanese scholar on national development and contemporary China, said such an outcome isn’t surprising under the regime’s rule, where “only one voice can be heard.”
“No one dares to raise objections,” he told The Epoch Times.
While the sole emphasis in the meeting appears to be about “the glorious accomplishments of the CCP,” the communique shows some signs of anxiety among the Party’s top leadership, according to Lee, citing the officials’ call for unity and for the Party to “not forget the heart it once started.”
The Party is now in a tight spot.
Domestically, Xi faces an energy crisis, rising commodity prices, financial woes in China’s housing sector, and a sagging economy. Outside of China’s borders, there’s growing international pressure challenging the regime’s repression in Hong Kong and Xinjiang, as well as scrutiny over its alleged coverup of the pandemic origins.
“The main point is that the communist party will not give up leadership, and at the core of it is Xi Jinping,” Lee said.
Luo Ya contributed to this report.