October 19, 2017
As China’s Communist Party convenes its 19th quinquennial congress, there is little doubt President Xi Jinping will be re-elected to a second five-year term.
Last week, however, ahead of the National People’s Congress convening in Beijing, the state-run media began referring to Xi by the title “Supreme Leader,” rather than his official title of “Secretary-General of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.” And while the move could have been purely for the sake of bolstering his image ahead of the important party gathering, many believe it was in fact a culminating move to consolidate his power and authority.
The latest news from China, however, all but confirms the latter.
According to the Xinhua News Agency, the main propaganda arm of the Chinese government, on Thursday, Xi’s political philosophy is being added to country’s constitution. The report states Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era is a “historic contribution to the Party’s development” and “represents the latest achievement in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context, and is an important component of the system of theories of socialism with Chinese characteristics.”
The report continues:
The Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era builds on and further enriches Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, and the Scientific Outlook on Development, according to a report delivered by Xi Jinping at the opening of the congress. The report listed 14-point fundamental principles of the Thought, ranging from ensuring Party leadership over all work to promoting the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.
Xi’s plan is to be carried out in two stages over the course of 30 years. Xinhua also quotes a party official who said the president’s “core status and authority” must be “firmly safeguarded.”