Xi Jinping secured an unprecedented third leadership term on Sunday, October 23, and unveiled a top governing body packed with loyalists, cementing his place as the country’s most powerful ruler since Mao Zedong.
The also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (PCCh) to his new Permanent Committee , the select group of seven leaders in charge of governing the plans of the regime during the next five years.
Alongside Xi, 69, are four new faces in China’s leadership, all men between the ages of 60 and 66. None, a priori, looks like a potential dolphin.
Analysts see them all as having a close relationship with Xi, the son of a Communist Party revolutionary who has led China in a more authoritarian direction since coming to power in 2012.
Richard McGregor, a senior fellow on East Asia at the Lowy Institute think tank in Sydney, said the result is a resounding victory for Xi.
“All his rivals, potential and real, have been expelled from the Politburo Standing Committee and Xi’s loyalists have taken their place. The new Politburo is an emphatic statement of Xi’s dominance over the party,” he said.
The unveiling of the 24-member Politburo and Standing Committee comes a day after the close of the 20th Communist Party Congress, which saw amendments to the statutes that cement Xi’s central status and the guiding role of his political thought. in of the match.
The following are the men who will rule China for the next five years, in order of hierarchy.
The 69-year-old leader was re-elected as general secretary of the Communist Party, paving the way for a third term as president that is due to be formally announced in the government’s legislative sessions in March.
Xi has consolidated power since becoming secretary-general in 2012, thanks in part to an anti-corruption campaign that wiped out his political rivals.
Li Qiang (63 years old)
In theory, to replace the current prime minister, Li Keqiang, in March, Xi has appointed Li Qiang, General Secretary of the PCCh in Shanghai, as number two.
Li has managed to rise despite being unable to stop the flood of covid cases in the eastern megalopolis last spring that led to a harsh confinement of almost three months.
His toughness in imposing the restrictions and his friendship with Xi, whom he accompanied in 2015 during his state visit to the United States, have weighed in his appointment.
This “shows everyone that loyalty and not popularity is the key to promotion,” Yang Zhang, an assistant professor at the American University of Washington, tweeted.
Li is considered one of Xi’s favorites, having served as his chief of staff when he was party chief in Zhejiang province from 2004 to 2007.
Zhao Leji (65 years old)
The former head of the party’s main anti-corruption body remains on the Standing Committee and has been promoted to number three in the party hierarchy.
The 65-year-old experienced administrator was party secretary in two provinces and a member of the Political Bureau since 2012.
Wang Huning (67 years old)
Xi’s ideological czar and current member of the Standing Committee has been promoted to number four in the party hierarchy. It has opted for a strong and centralized state.
Considered the “brain behind the throne,” the 67-year-old former university professor has drawn ideological lines for three past and current Chinese presidents, and is the creator of Xi’s slogan “Chinese Dream” as well as the country’s offensive diplomacy.
His possible prize could be a promotion to the presidency of the National People’s Assembly (ANP), the Chinese Legislative.
CiQi (66 years old)
The current party chief in Beijing has been promoted to the Standing Committee and became head of the General Secretariat, managing the day-to-day running of the party, according to a list of members released by the Xinhua news agency.
The 66-year-old is a close ally of Xi from his time working under him in Zhejiang and Fujian provinces.
Cai was also the president of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, and has also stood out for leading —in Chinese eyes— an efficient response against covid in the capital.
Ding Xuexiang (60 years old)
This low-profile member of the Political Bureau and a close adviser to Xi was promoted to the Standing Committee, a move anticipated by analysts because of his presence in the leader’s inner circle.
The 60-year-old often accompanies Xi to his official engagements and was head of the Communist Party’s general office – a position equivalent to the Chinese president’s chief of staff – although he was never a provincial party chief or governor, indicating that his appointment is an award for his loyalty to Xi.
Li Xi (66 years old)
Current member of the Political Bureau and party leader of the province of Guandong, an economic power, his appointment to the Standing Committee was anticipated by observers.
Li, 66, was confirmed as head of the powerful Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the party’s anti-corruption body, according to a list released by Xinhua.
He is considered a confidant of Xi, whom he met in the 1980s after working as secretary to an ally of Xi’s father, revolutionary leader Xi Zhongxun.
With information from AFP, EFE and Reuters