News ID: 108086
Publish Date : 22 October 2022 - 21:59

BEIJING (Reuters/Al Jazeera) – China’s Communist Party on Saturday approved amendments to its constitution aimed at cementing the core status of Xi Jinping and the guiding role of his political thought within the party as it wrapped up its twice-a-decade congress.
The party was also on Saturday elected its Central Committee, which on Sunday will choose the elite Politburo Standing Committee, with Xi, 69, widely expected to secure a third leadership term.
A third five-year leadership term solidifies Xi’s place as China’s most powerful ruler since Mao Zedong, founding leader of the People’s Republic.
Among the amendments to the party constitution, the “Two Establishes” define Xi as the “core” leader of the party and cement his ideas as the guiding principles of China’s future development. The “Two Safeguards” assure Xi’s “core” status within the party and the party’s centralized authority over China.
Voting was conducted by show of hands in the vast Great Hall of the People, where much of the week’s party congress proceedings have taken place behind closed doors.
The congress concluded with a military band playing “The Internationale”.
But in an unexpected move that punctured the proceedings at the Great Hall of the People, former President Hu Jintao was led out of the closing ceremony. No official explanation was given.
Al Jazeera’s Patrick Fok, reporting from Beijing, said it had been an “eventful” week which has highlighted the challenges the new leadership will face – most notably the state of the economy.
“The national bureau of statistics unexpectedly postponed the release of the of Q3 GDP [gross domestic product] data earlier this week,” he said.
“It points to, as analysts have suggested, muted growth for the third quarter, following near zero growth in the second quarter,” Fok added, say this was all “inextricably linked” to China’s zero-COVID policy, which President Xi Jinping has repeatedly defended and endorsed.
One person who will not be on the new Central Committee is Chinese Premier Li Keqiang as his name was not included in a list of new members at the end of the congress on Saturday.
This means he will be ineligible to sit on the Politburo’s Standing Committee.
Li had already announced that he would not run again at the annual meeting of the People’s Congress in March after two terms in office.
Speculation was rife, however, that he might become the head, or speaker, of parliament, which would effectively make him the second most powerful political actor after Xi.
The current speaker, Li Zhanshu, was also not listed among the new members of the Communist Party’s Central Committee.
Other high-profile Communist Party top brass absent from the new Central Committee include high-ranking diplomat Yang Jiechi and economic tsar Liu He.
Xi has on numerous occasions announced plans to continue expanding his years-long campaign against corruption within the ruling party through the creation of the new committee.

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