The upshot: Xi joins the Communist Party’s greats and China’s anti-graft tsar heads for the exit

Xi Jinping is put on a par with Mao and Deng, and the new Central Committee signals two big departures at the top

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 24 October, 2017, 2:54pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 24 October, 2017, 8:02pm

Two of the highlights of the closing session of the Communist Party’s national congress on Tuesday were the elevation of Chinese President Xi Jinping to a status on a par with late paramount leaders Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, and the departure of anti-graft tsar Wang Qishan and Vice-President Li Yuanchao from the top leadership.

Xi’s political philosophy is officially enshrined in the party’s constitution

At the closing session in Beijing’s cavernous Great Hall of the People, Xi declared that his governing philosophy, officially called “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era”, had been added to the party’s constitution.

The widely expected move will further tighten the “core” leader’s grip on power and put Xi on a par with Mao and Deng.

Xi’s political philosophy, now officially part of the party’s “Guide to Action”, runs the gamut from macroeconomics to foreign policy and ideological control.

It is fleshed out in dense official language in 14 sections but the main points are:

Politics

- Uphold the principle of one-party rule

- Improve governance and party efficiency through administrative reforms

- Strengthen party discipline

- Further integrate and institutionalise the party and state power

- Deepen links with and support for the grass roots

Anti-corruption chief Wang Qishan steps down from top Chinese leadership as Xi Jinping’s name is enshrined in Communist Party charter

Economy

- Pursue a more balanced approach to development

- Government to play a director’s role

- Strengthen key state sectors but allow greater freedom for the private economy in other areas

- Encourage technology and innovation

- Take part in and shape globalisation

Society

- Strengthen ideological control

- Encourage Chinese culture. Promote nationalism and China’s exceptionalism

- Reduce wealth gaps and clean up the environment – two main sources of public grievance

Defence and diplomacy

- China to be a status quo power but to take a more proactive role

- Uphold national interests, national security and sovereignty

- Uphold “one country, two systems” and unification of China with Taiwan

- Ensure the party’s absolute control over the military

- Transform China’s military into one of the best in the world

China has the world’s biggest military force. Now Xi Jinping wants it to be the best

The new line-up of the powerful Central Committee has been revealed

More than 2,300 carefully vetted delegates from around the country cast their votes behind closed doors for the new Central Committee, a ruling council with 204 full members and 172 alternates.

They also voted to determine who would make up the CCDI.

The list of Central Committee candidates did not include Wang Qishan, 69, a Politburo Standing Committee member and CCDI chief, confirming a South China Morning Post report that he had bowed out of the top leadership.

Vice-President Li Yuanchao, who is only 66 and has not reached retirement age, was also not on the list, meaning that he too will be stepping down from the Politburo.

Meanwhile, Zhao Leji has been named as a CCDI member, a move that the Post reported could pave the way for him to fill Wang’s shoes at the anti-graft unit.

Li Zhanshu, Xi’s chief of staff, was not named as a member of the CCDI, contrary to other foreign media speculation.

The line-up of the top leadership will be unveiled on Wednesday

The line-up of the Politburo and its Standing Committee, the party’s innermost circle of power, will be revealed on Wednesday after the new Central Committee has had its first meeting. The meeting will be the culmination of months-long behind-the-scenes horse trading in the lead-up to the twice-a-decade leadership reshuffle.

Xi and other Politburo Standing Committee members will appear before the media at around 11.45am on Wednesday, according to state media.

The Post has reported that along with Xi and Premier Li Keqiang, the new Politburo Standing Committee will include Li Zhanshu, Zhao Leji, Wang Huning, Han Zheng and Wang Yang.