Xi Jinping tightens grip on power in China with 'historic resolution'

Xi Jinping tightens his grip on power in China with ‘historic resolution’ that puts him on par with Mao and makes a third term as president almost certain

  • Xi Jinping has issued a draft resolution on the Communist party’s success
  • The document will review China’s economic military power and world presence
  • It will elevate Jinping to the level of two of China’s most influential and infamous leaders, ‘Chairman’ Mao Zedong and his successor, Deng Xiaoping
  • China removed term limits on the presidency in 2018, meaning that Xi could well remain at the apex of power in the country for the rest of his life

Xi Jinping has tightened his grip on power in China with the passage of an ‘historic resolution’, exulting his leadership and all-but guaranteeing a third term in office.

The resolution, passed by the country’s Central Committee today, puts Xi on a par with Mao Zedong and enshrines his ideology as the ‘essence of Chinese culture’.

Xi, 68, will still have to wait until next year to find out if his apparatchiks will grant him an historic third term in power, but their approval now seems beyond doubt. 

China removed presidential term limits in 2018, paving the way for Xi to rule for life. 

Xi Jinping has secured an ‘historic resolution’ from China’s top politicians, a document which exults his leadership and entwines his ideology with the future of the country (file) 

It is only the third time in the 100-year history of China’s Communist Party that such a resolution has passed, and puts Xi on par with Mao Zedong (left) and Deng Xiaoping (right)  

It is just the third time that China’s Communist Party has passed an ‘historic resolution’ in its 100-year history.

Aside from Xi, the only two leaders to amass enough political clout to get the resolution through were Mao, the founding father of the People’s Republic, and Deng Xiaoping, known as the father of modern China.

The resolution states that Xi’s leadership has been of ‘decisive significance’ for what it called ‘the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation’.

‘The party central committee called on the entire party, the entire army and people of all ethnic groups to unite more closely around the party central committee with comrade Xi Jinping as the core,’ the resolution said.

It also called on the country ‘to fully implement Xi Jinping’s new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics’.

The resolution was passed during a closed-door session involving 370 of the country’s most-senior politicians, the last before next year’s national congress during which Xi is expected to be granted another term.

Xi, the son of one of Mao’s generals, has ruled China for nearly a decade during which he has taken down rivals in anti-corruption probes and overseen the rapid expansion of his country’s economy and military.

China is now expected to overtake the US as the world’s economic superpower before 2030, while its military is now the world’s second-largest.

Xi has used that extra might to take an increasingly assertive stance on the world stage – bringing Hong Kong under tight control, menacing Taiwan, and asserting a claim to the whole of the South China Sea.

He is also overseeing a rapid expansion of the country’s nuclear stockpile which Washington estimates could hit 1,000 warheads by the end of the decade.

And over the summer, China tested a new kind of hypersonic space craft which the US fears could be used to carry a nuclear weapon.

Analysts said the ‘weapon’ is unlike any capability the US has and appears to ‘defy the laws of physics’. 

‘Chairman’ Mao was the head of the Communist party in China from 1935 until his death in 1976 and helped to build China into a world superpower, but was responsible for the deaths of tens of millions who were starved, imprisoned and executed under his autocratic regime. 

Deng Xiaoping was Mao’s successor and is seen as one of China’s most influential leaders. He brought in a wave of of economic reforms and is also known for ordering the army to fire on student protesters in the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989.

The party has only issued two previous evaluations of its history: in 1945, as it was prepared to seize power from the Nationalist party, and in 1981 as Deng led an assessment of Mao’s tumultuous 1966-76 Cultural Revolution.

Despite China’s rapid economic growth, consolidation of military power and increasing presence on the world stage under Xi, concerns around the nation’s human rights record and aggression in neighbouring territories have grown in equal measure. 

Religious groups and human rights activists in China have been harshly repressed, and recent months have seen more than a million members of Muslim minority groups, particularly Uighurs, shipped off to the nation’s ‘re-education centres’ which are widely believed to be internment and concentration camps. 

Free speech and opposition politics have also been severely curtailed in the semi-autonomous southern city of Hong Kong, while military threats against self-governing Taiwan have rapidly increased in recent weeks. 

China says such measures are necessary to safeguard stability and national sovereignty, but the moves have been widely condemned by world leaders. 

Beijing and Washington are currently at loggerheads over the issue of Taiwan in particular – an island China has vowed to ‘reunify’ despite Biden saying he is willing to defend it – with tensions further growing in the South China Sea.

In the meantime, China has built mock-ups of US ships on what appears to be a military firing range, adding to fears that the country is gearing up for a confrontation with America. 

China has initiated a rapid development of new nukes, battleships, jet fighters, tanks and missiles in the past few years, and has tested a number of cutting-edge missiles in recent weeks. (US satellite image of a mock-up US battleship, rail terminus and storage facility on Chinese firing range, dated Sunday, November 7)

Satellite images captured by Colorado-based satellite imagery company Maxar Technologies on Sunday show China has built targets shaped like a US Ford-class aircraft carrier and Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.

The mock-ups are located in Ruoqiang, in China’s northwestern desert region of Xinjiang, on what US analysts believe is a military firing range – suggesting they will be used for target practice.

A Pentagon report issued last month said China is expanding its nuclear force much faster than US officials predicted just a year ago.  

It added China ‘continued its efforts to advance its overall development’ in spite of challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic, and said Beijing was able to steady its economic growth, strengthen its armed forces, and take a ‘more assertive role in global affairs’.  

Responding to the report, James Inhofe, a Senate Armed Services Committee ranking member, said the US was in ‘the most endangered position our country has ever been in terms of what is demonstrating, clearly, what they have the capability of doing.’

Meanwhile Representative Mike Rogers, a ranking member of the House Armed Services committee, warned the US military needs to modernise to counter China.  

He said the report included details that have ‘been self-evident for some time – that China poses a real and imminent threat’. 

‘Kicking the can down the road for our own military modernisation is no longer an option,’ he said.

China, the US and Russia are engaged in a global arms race that now includes the development of hypersonic missile technology. Here, the MailOnline has compared (from left) each country’s main nuclear weapon, the latest hypersonic technology they have tested, their most up-to-date aircraft carriers, main battle tanks, and cutting-edge jets 

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