Xi Jinping to gain more power as Communist congress ends

China’s President Xi Jinping is set to increase his grip on power, as the week-long Communist Party’s congress in Beijing draws to an end.

The party is expected to enshrine his political ideology into its constitution, which may elevate him to the level of party founder Mao Zedong.

On Tuesday, delegates were finalising the make-up of several top committees.

China’s most important political meeting has been held behind closed doors under tight security.

Congress attendees are deciding on who will lead the country, as well as a roadmap for China in the next five years.

The congress began last week with a three-hour speech by Mr Xi where he first introduced his philosophy called “socialism with Chinese characteristics in a new era”.

Top officials and state media then began repeatedly mentioning this ideology, calling it “Xi Jinping Thought”, in a sign that Mr Xi had cemented his influence over the Party.

More than 2,000 delegates are expected to vote to rewrite the Party’s constitution to incorporate this ideology by the end of the congress on Tuesday.

Previous Chinese leaders have come up with their own political ideologies which have been incorporated into the party’s constitution or thinking. How these ideologies are named reflects on the leaders’ importance in the party.

None, besides party founder Mao Zedong, have had their ideology described as “thought”, which is at the top of the hierarchy, and only Mao and Deng Xiaoping have had their names attached to their ideologies.

Delegates have spent the congress picking provincial party chiefs, governors and heads of some state-owned enterprises.

By the end of Tuesday, they are expected to finalise the make-up of top bodies such as the Central Committee and the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

On Wednesday, the new Central Committee will decide who gets to be in the higher-level Politburo.

Though delegates get some say, in reality the elections are guided by the Party’s top leadership where at each stage voters pick from pre-selected candidates.

Also on Wednesday, the Party will reveal the new members of its pinnacle body, the Politburo Standing Committee. Mr Xi is widely expected to remain as party leader.

Those in the Standing Committee will be especially scrutinised. The BBC’s Robin Brant in Beijing says its make-up will reflect Mr Xi’s hold on power and may give signs about who he has in mind to succeed him.

Mr Xi has been steadily consolidating power since he became leader in 2012.

His term ruling China has been marked by significant development, a push for modernisation and increasing assertiveness on the world stage, but also growing authoritarianism, censorship and a crackdown on human rights. (Courtesy BBC)


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