Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to rule for a third consecutive term — a period of at least five more years — with the passing of a landmark resolution that celebrates his work and puts him on par with former leaders Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping.
A historical resolution: The resolution, which was passed on Nov. 11, is is reportedly the third of its kind in the 100-year history of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), with Mao passing the first in 1945 and Deng passing the second in 1981.
- Mao led the communists to victory during the Chinese Communist Revolution, while Deng established reforms that propelled China to become the world’s second-largest economy. The resolution stated that under Xi, China had “made historic achievements and undergone a historic transformation,” according to The Guardian.
- The resolution essentially elevates Xi’s status to those of his predecessors. “Just like the previous two resolutions, [this resolution] will play an important role in helping to unite the theory, will and action of the party — to achieve future progress and in realising the second centenary goal and the great Chinese dream of rejuvenation,” senior CCP official Qu Qingshan said, according to the BBC.
- The resolution was passed at the sixth plenary session, which gathered nearly 400 members of the 19th Central Committee, the top leadership in China. The session was the final main one before next year’s party congress, where Xi’s future as president will be determined, according to NBC News.
Unstoppable rise: With Xi being cemented as a transformational leader, observers believe he will likely lead China for a third term starting in 2022. His bid is expected to run smoothly after the country abolished its two-term presidency limit in 2018.
- The plenary session’s communique commended Xi for bringing forth a series of “original new ideas, thoughts and strategies” on Chinese socialism. Textbooks on “Xi Jinping Thought,” his political philosophy, are used across China in both elementary and high schools, while universities have started offering courses that introduce it.
- The communique said Xi “solved many tough problems that were long on the agenda but never resolved, and accomplished many things that were wanted but never got done,” according to CNN. It also pledged to “resolutely uphold Comrade Xi Jinping’s core position on the Central Committee and in the Party as a whole and uphold the Central Committee’s authority and its centralized, unified leadership to ensure that all Party members act in unison.”
- Such a pledge falls in line with Xi’s call for continued loyalty from the CCP’s 95 million members. In an awarding ceremony in June, he urged them to “firmly keep the loyalty and love for the party and the people close to one’s heart, turn that into action, dedicate everything, even your precious life, to the party and the people,” according to Reuters.
Moving forward: Xi met with President Joe Biden on Monday in their first virtual summit since the latter took over the White House. The Chinese president acknowledged that their nations will have differences, but they must “find the right way to get along.”
- Xi primarily urged Biden to return U.S. policy on China to “a rational and pragmatic track.” He said China is open to cooperating in multiple areas, including economic development, military, education, technology, energy and environmental protection, according to the South China Morning Post.
- Xi also cautioned Biden against pursuing deeper ties with Taiwan, saying China will “take drastic measures” in the event that separatist forces “break through the red line.” This is consistent with what observers are saying about an imminent invasion.
- Despite his warnings, Xi reportedly referred to Biden as an “old friend.” For his part, the U.S. leader acknowledged that they “always communicated with one another very honestly and candidly” and “never walk away wondering what the other man is thinking.”