Chinese President Xi Jinping unveils new team for his record-breaking third term
- Rising stars Li Qiang, Li Xi, Ding Xuexiang and Cai Qi join China’s highest decision-making body
- ‘We’ll be steadfast in deepening reform and opening up across the board, and in pursuing high-quality development,’ Xi Jinping says after announcing line-up
Together with ideology tsar Wang Huning, and former anti-corruption chief Zhao Leji, they make up the new seven-member Politburo Standing Committee led by Xi.
By bringing these fresh faces into his core team, Xi has laid the foundation for his rule for the next five years and beyond.
According to state news agency Xinhua, the new order of hierarchy for the Politburo is party secretary Xi Jinping, 69, Li Qiang, 63, Zhao Leji, 65, Wang Huning, 67, Cai Qi, 66, Ding Xuexiang, 60, and Li Xi, 66.
Cai Qi is the first secretary of the party’s secretariat – taking over from Wang Huning – and will be responsible for the day-to-day running of key party affairs.
Zhao Leji, now ranked third, is likely to head the National People’s Congress, while Wang Huning will take over the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the top political advisory body and an important platform to mobilise outside party resources and support.
While these key state and government positions will only be officially confirmed at the annual national legislative sessions in March, the party hierarchy offers strong signals of the moves.
Surprisingly, the size of the Politburo has been reduced to 24, one seat fewer than last time, and there are no women in the line-up.
Speaking to reporters after announcing his new team, Xi expressed confidence that they would keep China’s economy on a steady course.
“Our economy’s strong fundamentals will not change, and it will remain on the positive trajectory over the long run,” Xi said.
“We’ll be steadfast in deepening reform and opening up across the board, and in pursuing high-quality development, and create more opportunities for the world through our own development.”
China’s economy has been under stress because of the Covid-19 pandemic and headwinds brought by pressure from Western countries led by the US.
“In the face of new challenges and new tests on the new journey, we must be highly vigilant, always keep the sobriety and prudence of rushing for the exam, and continue to push forward the comprehensive and strict governance of the party, so that the century-old party will continue to flourish in its self-reform, and remain the most reliable and strong backbone of the Chinese people,” he said.