President Xi Jinping was elevated as the “core leader” of China’s ruling Communist Party on Thursday, conferring on him a status similar to that of party founder Mao Zedong that dilutes the three-deca
President Xi Jinping was elevated as the “core leader” of China’s ruling Communist Party on Thursday, conferring on him a status similar to that of party founder Mao Zedong that dilutes the three-decade-old collective leadership principle to avoid personality cult.
Reinforcing the solid power base built by Mr Xi since he assumed power in November 2012, the plenary meeting of the CPC, which concluded its four-day in-camera meeting here on Thursday, called on its 88 million members to “closely unite around the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core”.
Mr Xi, 63, heads the party as general-secretary of the CPC, and the military besides the presidency since 2013, a privilege denied to his predecessor Hu Jintao who was saddled with a nine-member powerful Standing Committee, where he was treated as first among equals.
In contrast, Mr Xi, who heads a seven-member Standing Committee, already established his stamp of authority by seriously diluting its status.
The term “core leader” was synonymous with the party’s highest ranking leaders. Only party founder Mao, reformist leader Deng Xiaoping and his successor Jiang Zemin were regarded as “core leaders” of their generations.
Though Jiang “retired” after a 10-year tenure, he continued to head the powerful Central Military Commission — the high command of the Chinese military — for two more years undermining the powers of his successor Hu Jintao.
Observers said Mr Xi will emerge even more powerful as five of the seven members of the Standing Committee — the epitome of collective leadership — are to retire in 2017.