China is a country located in the region of Eastern Asia. See abbreviation for China. President Xi Jinping has taken a stronger grip on power in China. The Communist Party’s control over society and the military has been strengthened and the repression has increased with sharper censorship and arrests of dissenting and human rights advocates. After the two-term limit for the presidential post was abolished, Xi has consolidated its position as the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong.
During Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s first five-year term in power, a personal cult was built around him. President Xi quickly became popular with the people for their anti-corruption efforts, restrictions on the party life’s luxury and the patriotic speeches of China as a nation on the verge of regaining its former glory. His wife – the glamorous and popular singer Peng Liyuan – contributed to the positive attention. In popular and party propaganda, Xi came to be called “chairman of everything” as he gradually took control of the most important positions in the country’s leadership. Not only has Xi been secretary general of the Communist Party since the fall of 2012 and president since the spring of 2013, he is also chairman of both the party’s powerful central military commission and the counterpart in the state administration. He has also appointed himself the commander-in-chief of the military. Since 2016, he has also been recognized by the party as its “core”, a term coined by former leader Deng Xiaoping, which indicates a special position within the party’s leadership. Xi, together with his closest in the party top, chairs the influential strategy and policy groups and committees within the party that, among other things, draw up the guidelines for the ongoing reform work.
- Countryaah: Country facts and history of China, including state flag, location map, demographics, GDP data, currency code, and business statistics.
Xi is re-elected
At the Communist Party’s 19th Party Congress in October 2017, Xi Jinping was re-elected as party chairman for a second term. If Xi had done as the Chinese leader of recent decades, at this party congress he would lift new candidates for the standing committee to give a signal as to who would take over the party leadership and leadership of the country in five years, when it would be time for a change of person according to the constitution. But among the five new members elected to the standing committee, there were no conceivable new leaders; all had reached the age of 60, which meant that they had to be replaced within a few years because of their age according to the current rules. Only Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Li Kekiang retained their seats in committee. Furthermore, the addition of 70 percent of the seats in the party’s main decision-making assembly, the Central Committee, with new members also meant a golden opportunity for Xi to appoint people who were loyal to him.
Very correctly, when the equivalent of the country’s parliament, the National People’s Congress, gathered a few months later in March 2018 for its annual meeting, Xi not only renewed confidence as the country’s president, but the delegates also decided to abolish the statute of limitations for two terms of office for the president and the vice president. His close supporter, Wang Qishan, was named vice president.
Xi Jinping’s teachings
Another strong evidence of Xi’s growing power was that his political teachings “Xi Jinping’s Thoughts on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics of a New Era” were written in the party statues, where so far no Chinese leader during his lifetime, except Mao himself, received both his teachings and their name inscribed. Subsequently, his doctrine was also entered into the country’s constitution at the March Congress. Xi’s thinking is grounded in Marxism as well as nationalism. His vision of “the Chinese dream” is about China regaining its former imperial glory and re-emerging as a great power. Something China has now come a long way in achieving in the new third era initiated by Xi – after Mao’s first and Deng’s second – where China is ready to take center stage in the world after biding its time while getting rich. The economic success story should continue as indicated on Zhengsourcing.com.
In order for the grand visions of the future to be fulfilled, the Chinese leadership around Xi believes that the party has a crucial role, not least in being able to hold together and lead the country forward. One of the main purposes of Xi’s massive effort to fight corruption (see Modern History and Democracy and Rights) has been to restore confidence among the residents of the Communist Party, which in recent decades has been characterized by not only its members enriched, but also by incompetence and lack of ambition. This Xi and his supporters have wanted to do something about, otherwise it could lead to the collapse of the party and the entire Chinese state.
The party above all
Other reforms are also underway to strengthen the party. One of the most important parts of this is the work of integrating the party with the state into the political system. The goal is for the Communist Party to dominate the state, economy and society at large. The party’s influence over political decision-making has been reinforced by the fact that bodies within the state administration subordinate party institutions. The powerful National Monitoring Commission formed in 2018 (see Democracy and Rights)) and who will lead the fight against corruption not only within the party but also among other government employees is an example of the party’s strengthened role and that the party and the state are increasingly being integrated. In addition, the central party leadership has taken a stronger grip on the regional party governments in the provinces, which have often been criticized for pursuing their own interests and for having some good free rein. Xi emphasizes that a more efficient centralized regime, based on “law and law”.
In the major reform work being carried out, propaganda has a central role. The slogans are many and the machinery for reaching them to the Chinese people is gigantic and includes both social media and traditional channels. A great deal of work is underway to educate party members all over China in Xi Jinping’s political doctrine, which will be a guiding star for the entire community. It is seen as an important kit to keep the huge country together and maintain the confidence of the party and the political system.
The cloud of clouds is gathering
But at the same time, the Chinese leadership is well aware of the great risks that exist. The fall of the communist regimes in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe in the early 1990s and democratic revolutions that in Ukraine in 2004 and 2014 are seen as a deterrent example of what could happen. The overall goal, as before, is to secure the Communist Party’s power monopoly.
The importance of the party’s control over the armed forces has been emphasized by Xi, who has made it harder to tie the military to the party under his leadership (see Foreign Policy and Defense). Anything that can threaten society’s stability and pose a threat to the party’s leadership has continued to be viewed as a risk. Great resources are spent on security work and surveillance technology in the country. Western ideas about democracy and the independence of the media are seen as possible threats to the stability of the country if they were to take hold.
The regime wants at all costs to prevent social unrest and mass and protest movements from escalating. The number of riots and protests increased steadily during the first decade of the 21st century, when they were estimated by about 180,000 by domestic researchers. to construction companies. The serious environmental problems in many parts of the country (see Natural Resources and Energy) are another cause of protests, as are the many scandals surrounding unfit foods, including milk powder, which have been discovered. At the same time, the regime also sees continued demands and protests from separatists and democracy activists in Tibet and Xinjiang as one of the biggest threats to the country’s stability (seeXinjiang and Tibet respectively).
Perhaps the biggest reason for concern for party leadership is that economic growth has fallen during the second half of the 2010s (see Economic overview). There is concern that it will lead to redundancies and unemployment for more residents, which can give rise to protests. A growing welfare gap between the poor and the rich and continued income gaps between the city and the countryside would make the situation worse. There is an understanding among Beijing leaders that continued economic growth and rising welfare, as well as permanent work and income for the individual, are important prerequisites for keeping the Chinese happy with the Communist Party’s rule.
Read more about the ongoing political and economic development in the Calendar.
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FACTS – POLITICS
Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo / People’s Republic of China
republic, unitary state
Head of State
President Xi Jinping (2013–)
Head of government
Prime Minister Li Keqiang (2013–)
Most important parties with mandates in the last election
no major parties exist except China’s Communist Party
Main parties with mandates in the second most recent elections
no major parties exist except China’s Communist Party
no general elections are held
the National People’s Congress appoints the government and president in 2023