China leadership

5 men, 10 months and 1 long speech: the cadres behind Xi Jinping’s marathon address

Chinese media name the specialists who took on the painstaking job of compiling the material for the president’s report to the Communist Party congress

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 29 October, 2017, 8:34pm
UPDATED : Monday, 30 October, 2017, 2:14am

An adviser to Xi Jinping has been named as one of the five architects of the Chinese president’s landmark speech to the Communist Party’s national congress which ended in Beijing last week.

The five ranged in expertise from industrial policy to party history and were responsible for drafting the 68-page speech forming the backbone of “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era”, the latest dogma to be added to the organisation’s constitution.

The drafting took 10 months and began on January 13 when Xi assembled a team to prepare the document, Xinhua reported on Saturday.

While Xi headed the team and three now retired Politburo Standing Committee members acted as his deputies, much of the day-to-day work was done by five others, including Qu Qingshan, head of the Central Party History Research Institute.

Before transferring to the institute in 2009, Qu spent more than a decade in the northwestern province of Qinghai at the same time as the country’s new top graft-buster Zhao Leji.

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Qu has been one of Xi’s most trusted advisers and is expected to take on a bigger role, especially now that he has become the first person in his position in three decades to become a full member of the party’s elite Central Committee.

“We have entered a new era … enabling historic achievements in terms of reform and opening up and the modernisation of socialism,” CCTV quoted him as saying.

Yang Weimin, deputy director of the Office of the Central Leading Group on Financial and Economic Affairs, was also on the drafting team. Yang is a deputy to Liu He, Xi’s right-hand man for economic policy.

Agricultural and rural development policy veteran Han Jun; Gao Xuanmin, deputy minister of the Central Committee’s Organisation Department; and Jiang Jinquan, deputy director of the Central Committee’s Policy Research Office, rounded out the five.

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The process of drafting the speech was painstaking. The team sent nine groups of people across the country to solicit information, and ordered 59 government institutions to submit 80 special reports for reference, Xinhua reported.

Dozens of symposia were held across the country for additional research and opinions were solicited from serving and retired party leaders, requiring multiple revisions, the report said.

Xi convened the last of four meetings attended by all members of the drafting team in late June, Xinhua reported.

The speech also went through two rounds of discussions by roughly 2,300 party delegates and some non-voting delegates during the weeklong congress before it could be signed and sealed.