During the previous congress in 2017, Xi Jinping amended the Constitution by removing the limit of two presidential terms. He can therefore in theory preside over the People’s Republic for life.
The Communist Party of China will hold its congress on Oct.16, state media reported on Tuesday (Aug.30). A decisive meeting that should allow President Xi Jinping to wrest an unprecedented third term at the helm of China.
Barring a dramatic change, Xi Jinping is expected to become the first president on this occasion to remain in power for a third coronation at the helm of the most populous country on the planet.
Consolidate your power
At the previous congress in 2017, the strongman from Beijing had brought his “thoughtin the constitutive acts of the Party. A few months later, the Constitution was amended to remove the limit of two presidential terms. Xi Jinping can therefore in theory preside over the People’s Republic for life.
This congress, the twentieth since the CCP’s creation in 1921, should also lead to a broad recomposition of the Politburo Standing Committee, the all-powerful seven-member body that holds the reality of power in China. According to unwritten traditions, some of the current members of the ruling covenant reach the age of retirement.
With 2,300 delegates, the CCP General Assembly will be held at “a key moment in which the entire Party and all the ethnic groups of the country are engaged in the construction of a modern socialist country“CCTV public television pointed out Tuesday. While the communist regime gives the appearance of unity, behind the scenes rivalries are the order of the day and the president is still trying to consolidate his power, analysts say.
Tensions and difficulties
Since Xi Jinping took office as party-state leader in late 2012, more than 1.5 million cadres have been punished as part of a broad anti-corruption campaign, according to official data dating back several years. The Chinese number one has long been suspected of using this campaign to attack his internal opposition.
The Party Congress will open at a time when China is facing many difficulties. After years of frenetic development, the Asian giant is now facing a sharp slowdown in its growth. And unemployment increased significantly between the ages of 16-24 (nearly 20%). However, the Party derives its main legitimacy from the increase in the purchasing power of the population.
Points of contention
The zero Covid strategy, defended tooth and nail by President Xi, is also increasingly contested by the general public and above all by the business community, alarmed by the threats that confinements pose to the business. The authorities decree localized confinements, impose PCR tests in some places every 72 or even 48 hours, and pose the risk of quarantine to any traveler traveling to another province.
Internationally, the points of contention between Xi Jinping’s China and the great American rival have also multiplied: trade and technology, the fate of the Uyghur minority in Xinjiang, the repression in Hong Kong but also the tensions around Taiwan. China thus carried out military maneuvers unprecedented in scale in early August near this island over which Beijing claims sovereignty. A message of firmness addressed to Washington after the visit considered provocative to Taiwan by the American number three Nancy Pelosi.
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