Chinese President Xi Jinping, who steamrollered negligible opposition within the Communist Party to get an unprecedented third term in power, stacked the all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee with his loyalists.
The outcome of the 20th China Communist Party Congress was on predictable lines, with Xi assuming near total power in the world's second largest economic power. The party congress, which bestowed another five-year term to Xi acknowledged that Xi is core to the party's thinking. The party Congress adopted amendments to the constitution that bestowed the 'core' status to Xi, a move that officially makes him the guiding light for the party and the nation.
Same Pedestal as Mao Zedong
The new powers of Xi place him on the same pedestal as Chairman Mao Zedong. The 69-year-old leader has also re-appointed as the chairman of China's Central Military Commission.
In a speech made after veritably becoming the supreme leader of the country, Xi said the 'world needs China'.
"China cannot develop without the world, and the world also needs China. After more than 40 years of unflagging efforts towards reform and opening up, we have created two miracles -- rapid economic development and long-term social stability," Xi said.
"Now we are taking confident strides on a new journey to turn China into a modern socialist country in all respects. To advance to the second centenary goal and to embrace the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts, for a Chinese path to modernisation," Xi added.
Top Politburo Boy Stacked with Xi Loyalists
The new politburo standing committee comprises Shanghai Communist Party chief Li Qiang, who is widely expected to become the Prime Minister. It was widely speculated that current Prime Minister Li Keqiang would be removed at the party Congress as his views on reforms had diverged from Xi's.
The other members of the standing committee include are Zhao Leji, Wang Huning, Cai Qi, Ding Xuexiang and Li Xi. The seven-member Standing Committee is the country's top governing body. All the members of the standing committee have pledged total allegiance to Xi.
The complete sway of the Xi faction over the Chinese Communist Party was expected by political analysts broadly, but some are surprised about the outcome. "An abnormally lopsided victory for one faction, which is rare in the tradition of the Communist Party, in the past there would be a rough balance of power ...It means there won't be any checks and balances. Xi Jinping also has total control over the larger Politburo and Central Committee," said Willy Lam, Senior Fellow at US think tank the Jamestown Foundation, according to Reuters.
Xi School of Thought
In March 2018, China approved constitutional changes that effectively allowed Xi to remain in power for life. In a landmark move, the National People's Congress approved a resolution that sought to remove the two-term limit on the presidency, which was in place since the 1990s. While 2,964 delegates to the annual Congress supported the move, only two voted against it, suggesting how invasive and complete the popularity of Xi has been.
Xi then went on to amass more power and acquire a brighter halo around him, so much so that he was on the cusp of being elevated to the status of Chairman Mao.
China also recently adopted what it calls the Xi School of thought, bestowing on the president the kind of adulation received by Mao Zedong, the republic's founder. The 'Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era' is to be taught in schools and universities across the country