“As long as he has something to offer and explains well, he will be a fairly stable figure”
Reports have appeared in China's state media that the 20th Congress of the ruling Communist Party will be held on the 16th October. It is expected that it is at this forum that the current head of the party and state will be re-elected for a third term. What are the chances of Xi Jinping and what tasks does the politician intend to solve? entities/2022/08/31/15/articles/detailPicture/07/e1/b8/bf/5d4a2dac2e9492a6c817d06f0f157015.jpg” height=”412″ width=”550″ />
Photo: Global Look Press
The Party Congress in Beijing is not taking place at the easiest time for China – and, in particular, for Xi Jinping – time. The Chinese President is facing massive political challenges like never before, including a weakened economy due to the pandemic, deteriorating relations with the United States, and a strict zero-COVID policy.
Xi is expected to be reappointed head of state for a third term in what is seen as an unprecedented development in modern China.
According to The Guardian, a new CCP top leadership will be announced at the convention as Xi consolidates his power in the party and his position as China's most powerful leader since Mao Zedong.
According to the state broadcaster CCTV, the party forum, which is held every 5 years, will be “extremely important” and preparations for the future event are “going smoothly.” The final meeting of the current committee will be held in Beijing on October 9, the report said.
About 2,300 Communist Party delegates from all over the country will gather in Beijing to elect members of the approximately 200-member Central Committee.
Following this, the Central Committee will vote for the 25-member Politburo and its influential standing committee – China's highest governing body, at the pinnacle of power and consisting of 7 people.
The Western media argue that the vote is largely formal: the hierarchy of the Politburo and the Standing Committee is most likely determined in advance. In particular, Alfred Wu Muluan, an expert on Chinese politics and associate professor at the National University of Singapore, in a conversation with The Guardian noted that the composition of the top leadership was most likely determined during a secret “conclave”; leaders of the Communist Party, held in August.
Foreign analysts do not foresee any surprises at the CCP Congress. No one doubts that Xi Jinping will be elected for a third term. Experts also suggest that the current president of the PRC will be awarded the honorary title of “great leader”. Previously, the term was only used to refer to Mao Zedong. After him, none of the rulers of China was awarded such an honorary title.
It should be noted that in the official newspaper “People's Daily” the term “people's leader” is already being used in relation to Xi.
Russian orientalist, director of the Institute of Asian and African Studies at Moscow State University Alexei Maslov, commenting on the chances of the Chinese leader to be re-elected for a new term, also has no doubt that that this will happen:
– Almost one hundred percent that he will be re-elected for a third term. To a certain extent, this will be a small revolution, since all previous leaders were elected for only two terms. Before him, only Mao Zedong was in office for more than two terms. There are no moves to ensure that he is not re-elected or there would be some kind of party position on this matter. Now we do not see any such attempts. Therefore, he will, of course, be re-elected.
The tasks set by Xi Jinping for the future term are global, as is his decision to remain the leader for a long time:
– Firstly, it is China's undisputed international leadership while maintaining positive growth rates, – Alexey Maslov comments on the tasks facing X. – Now these rates, although they have fallen, are still in the black, not in the red. Secondly, of course, China's technological leadership. Thirdly, China as a relatively independent country (independence from American technology, from US finances). And here he will have to explain a lot to his party comrades. First – why at the beginning of his administration there were no serious conflicts with the United States, and now this clash is direct. Second – why he not only failed to resolve the Taiwan issue, but inflated it. Third – why there is a noticeable drop in growth rates. That is, for each of these factors there is an objective explanation, but together they create a conflict situation. Now the most interesting – what explanations he will give, whether he will talk about the global agenda or internal party problems. It is also very important for us whether he will name the main partners and opponents of China. Will the USA sound in terms of the country that is the opponent, and Russia – partner, or he won't name any countries at all.
The presidential option for a third term was not available to Chinese leaders until 2018. It was this year that Xi lifted the two-term limit set by Deng Xiaoping in the 1980s. The purpose of this restriction was to prevent the possible emergence of a new dictatorship.
The decision of the current head of the PRC opened up for him the opportunity to remain a leader for life.
Some analysts even predict that at the congress Xi Jinping will try to shorten the name of his official political philosophy in the party charter to a more concise “Xi Jinping Thought” , which will put him literally on the same level as Mao Zedong.
– We cannot evaluate China in Western terms, – Alexey Maslov explains. – In China, there is some national tradition. We do not yet see that the people are tired of Xi Jinping, we do not see fatigue. As long as he offers something and explains it well, he will be a fairly stable figure. Will there be an increase in what we can call autocracy? I think no. The only thing we will see – strengthening of the ideological factor, including a number of possible restrictions, even the Internet and formats of behavior in society. But to say that China will suddenly turn into some kind of feudal dictatorship – this, of course, will not happen.