Chinese President Xi Jinping expands his powers and promotes his allies


By PA STI (Update)

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Chinese President Xi Jinping was nominated on Sunday for a new term as head of the ruling Communist Party, in a break with tradition.

President Xi Jinping, China’s most powerful leader in decades, increased his dominance when he was nominated for another term on Sunday as leader of the ruling Communist Party in a break with tradition and promoted allies who support his vision of tighter control of the struggling society and economy. .

Xi, who took power in 2012, won a third five-year term as general secretary, abandoning a party custom under which his predecessor left after 10 years. The 69-year-old leader is expected by some to try to stay in power for life.

On Saturday, Xi’s predecessor Hu Jintao, 79, abruptly left a meeting of the party’s Central Committee with an aide holding his arm. It raised questions about whether Xi was expanding his powers by kicking out other party leaders. The official Xinhua News Agency later reported that Hu was in poor health and needed to rest.

The party also appointed a seven-member standing committee, its inner circle of power, dominated by Xi allies after Premier Li Keqiang, the No. 2 leader and proponent of market-style and enterprise reform. private, was removed from management on Saturday. . It was good that Li was a year younger than the party’s informal retirement age of 68.

Xi and the other members of the Standing Committee first appeared as a group in front of reporters on Sunday at the Great Hall of the People, the seat of China’s ceremonial legislature in central Beijing.

Xi announced that Li Qiang, a former party secretary from Shanghai who has no connection to Li Keqiang, was the No. 2 member and Zhao Leji, a previous committee member, was promoted to No. 3. The No. 2 of the committee since the 1990 became Prime Minister while the No 3 leads the legislature. These positions are to be allocated when the legislature meets next year.

Leadership changes were announced as the party wrapped up a two-decade congress that was closely watched for signs of moves to reverse an economic crisis or changes to a tough ‘zero-COVID’ strategy that shut down cities and disrupted business. Officials disappointed investors and the Chinese public by not announcing any changes.

The lineup seemed to reflect what some commentators called “Maximum Xi,” valuing loyalty over ability. Some new members of the Standing Committee do not have government experience at the national level, which is generally considered a requirement for the position.

Li Qiang’s promotion was particularly unusual as it put him in the running to be prime minister despite having no experience as a cabinet minister or vice premier. However, he is considered close to Xi after the two worked together early in their careers in Zhejiang province in the early 2000s.

Li Keqiang is the top economic official but has been sidelined over the past decade by Xi, who has taken over the decision-making bodies and wants a bigger state role in business development and technology.

Li Keqiang was excluded from the list of the party’s new 205-member Central Committee on Saturday, whose Standing Committee is chosen. He is expected to step down as prime minister next year.


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