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Xi Jinping consolidates power in China by being re-elected for a third presidential term

Chinese President Xi Jinping consolidated his power this Friday after the National People’s Assembly (ANP, equivalent to the legislature) appointed him to a third five-year presidential term (2023-2028), unprecedented among his predecessors.

The PNA plenum ratified the tenure of Xi, also general secretary of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC), after the body approved a constitutional amendment in 2018 that removed the limit of two consecutive five-year terms for presidents.

The 2,952 deputies present in the assembly, where opposition to proposed measures is rare, unanimously approved Xi’s continuation as head of state.

The plenary session, held in the Great Hall of the People in Tiananmen Square, also endorsed the appointment of Han Zheng as vice president and Zhao Leji as president of the PNA Standing Committee, a position consistent with this. The head of the legislative body.

After the vote, Xi, Han and Zhao proceeded to swear the oath to the Chinese Constitution. Similarly, lawmakers also unanimously gave Xi the green light for a third term as president of the Central Military Commission, a position equivalent to that of the chief of the Asian country’s armed forces.

Last October, Xi reconfirmed his position as general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party for a third term, unprecedented among his immediate predecessors. Thus, the president’s control over the three arms of power will be strengthened: the state, the PCCH and the army.

In recent years, and to achieve this scenario, Xi has managed to remove from the constitution a phrase imposing a limit of two consecutive terms, in addition to incorporating his political theories into the text to expand the cult of his personality and cult. The concentration of power around his figure.

Xi’s Rise

Born in Beijing in June 1953, Xi joined the CCP at the age of 22, but before he began to climb the ranks of the formation, he had to wait for the rehabilitation of the family clan: his father, vice premier in the early 1950s. At the age of 60, he was released during the Cultural Revolution – he was not released until 1975 – when he was “transferred” to a remote area of ​​Shanxi Province.

Gradually, Xi developed a reputation for being pragmatic and ambitious, and began to build his own network of followers in the country’s coastal provinces—the most developed—until he was appointed governor of Fujian and, later, secretary of the CCP in Fujian. and Shanghai.

He was also in the right place at the right time: in the late 2000s, the party was looking for a candidate with a legacy to think about—raised by his father figure, rehabilitated and elevated during the reforms of the 1980s—to replace him. President Hu Jintao.

The PCCh has opted for strong leadership, winning the post of secretary-general of the formation in 2012 and the country’s presidency the following year on a promise to fight rampant corruption – though critics argue he has used this strategy. Destroyed its competitors – and put China at the table of the great powers of the planet.

The party put everything on the Xi card, burying the reforms that Deng Xiaoping introduced in 1982 and that for decades built a collegial and limited power that avoided the excesses of the Mao Zedong era.

While there was a cult of personality for other Chinese leaders, such as the charismatic Jiang Zemin, who died last year, Xi did not mince words and began promoting theoretical textbooks that heralded the dawn of a “new era” China would usher in. Modernized for 2049, the year the People’s Republic celebrates its centennial.

challenges ahead

A growing rivalry with the United States, a potential conflict with Taiwan — an island Beijing claims — demographic challenges or the reactivation of an economy battered by a real estate bubble and three years of isolation, a strict zero-tolerance of COVID. Politics will be Xi’s challenges over the next five years.

To counter them, the President has already entered the XX Congress with a new team of trusted people who will ultimately be responsible for achieving such goals as “common prosperity”, “technological self-sufficiency” or “unification”. of Taiwan.

Xi himself has repeatedly warned that China will sail into a “turbulent sea” in the coming years, reflecting a drive for maximum obedience and unity within the CCP.

But his biggest challenge, experts say, will be relentless and escalating tensions between Washington and Beijing. “China wants to convince the world that its development model works and can surpass the United States,” Tsinghua University professor Xi Maosong told the South China Morning Post. “But to achieve this goal, Xi must first revive the economy and meet the goals of technological self-sufficiency in a hostile and unfavorable external environment.”

In addition, Xi will inaugurate his term after unusual protests in December last year due to people’s dissatisfaction with the zero-covid policy that has cost lives in the country.

His unsuccessful third term also raises doubts among those who predict a “deterioration of civil and political rights, which have already been severely curtailed, given that the authorities are responding to complaints with more censorship, arbitrary arrests and repression,” which he condemned last year. Non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch.

Source: El Diario





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