The Communist Party of China has now officially added Xi Jinping‘s ideology in the pages of its constitution, somehow placing him on similar status as the late Chairman Mao Zedong.
Observers believe that having “Xi Jinping Thought” in the Communist Party constitution, alongside “Mao Zedong Thought” and “Deng Xiaoping Theory” will further cement Xi’s influence and power to be at the same level as the former controversial leader.
In his three-and-a-half hour speech during last week’s 19th Party Congress, the Chinese leader, labeled by The Economist as “The world’s most powerful man,” stated that “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.”
This new credo was immediately trumpeted by state media and officials soon after Xi’s speech.
National People’s Congress Committee Chairman Zhang Dejiang dubbed the Thought as “the biggest highlight of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and a historic contribution to the Party’s development.”
Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Chairman Yu Zhengsheng echoed similar views, stating:
“This important thought 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.”
“Enshrining Xi’s thought into the Party Constitution has proved the main highlight of the Congress, signifying a leap forward in the sinicization of Marxism,” state-owned Xinhua would eventually conclude.
The “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” reportedly contains 14 fundamental principles, which notably deviates from the sets of threes usually used by the party.
Global Times figures the ideology will be able to address any type of problems in the coming years.
“How to solve all kinds of major problems in the new era? How to utilize China’s strength? How to make the win-win principle transcend traditional geopolitics among major powers? Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era will lead us to the answers.”
Such development has caught the attention of international media, which also acknowledged Xi’s rise into “Mao-like” status.
No less than Time magazine bore the headline “Xi Jinping Becomes China’s Most Powerful Leader Since Mao Zedong“ to indicate the Chinese leader’s political might.
Highlighting Xi’s global ambition, the report noted: “Xi unashamedly called China a ‘great power’ or ‘strong power’ 26 times in his opening speech last week. He has ramped up the construction and militarization of islands in the South China Sea and opened China’s first overseas military base in Djibouti. His signature Belt and Road Initiative — repaving the ancient Silk Road through a trade and infrastructure network across Eurasia and Africa — was also added to the constitution on Tuesday, indicating its central place in his thinking. In his opening address, Xi said his ‘new era’ will be one “that sees China moving closer to center stage.”
BBC, however, wonders whether Xi’s “mission to control will help or hinder” him in his plans of taking China towards the center stage in the world. While pointing out the shift in global perception of China, it also warned against the pitfalls of its “rigid politics”.
“The latest Pew opinion survey across 37 countries suggests more people now trust the Chinese leader to do the right thing than the American one. On its current trajectory, the Chinese economy will overtake the US sometime in the next decade to become the world’s largest. Critics dismiss the challenge of the China model, predicting that rigid politics will cramp innovation and growth will succumb to market distortions. Certainly, most countries that make it to the world’s rich club go democratic first.”