BEIJING (Reuters) -
China’s Communist Party officials called President Xi Jinping a “helmsman” and “people’s leader” on Friday, in a show of support for his continuing leadership.
Xi is almost certain to secure a precedent-breaking third term as party leader next year.
At the end of a four-day, closed-door meeting on Thursday, the party passed a “historical resolution” which highlighted its achievements under Xi’s leadership and amplified his authority.
The full text of the resolution is yet to be released.
“Helmsman” and “people’s leader” were descriptions used over 50 years ago during a personality cult of Mao Zedong, who led the party to power in 1949. Party propagandists used personality cult to drum up support for the leader.
“As long as we uphold Comrade Xi Jinping as the core, ... the giant vessel of Chinese rejuvenation will have a helmsman and will be able to brave any storms,” Jiang Jinquan, who heads the party’s policy research office, told a press conference about this week’s meeting, known as the Sixth Plenum.
Xi is expected to secure a third term as party leader at the 2022 party congress next autumn.
The Chinese Communist Party was founded on July 1, 1921 and is now one of the world’s most powerful political groupings.
Members constitute nearly 6.6% of China’s population. In 2019, it had 91.9 million members.
The party has been in power since 1949.