After the Communist Party Congress ridicule of former President Hu Jintao, who has not been heard from since his ouster, none of his allies appear in the regime’s new leadership
Once crowned China’s most powerful leader since Mao, Xi Jinping perpetuates himself in power, surrounding himself only with his trusted men and with no successor in sight. This is confirmed by the composition of the new leadership of the regime, the Standing Committee of the Politburo resulting from the XX Congress of the Communist Party. After Saturday’s dramatic close, in which former President Hu Jintao was forcibly removed from the assembly in an episode reminiscent of previous purges, none of his allies were expected in the new leadership.
While there was a lot of pool with the potential candidates, the only thing that was clear was continuity as general secretary of Xi Jinping, who has broken the rule to retire after ten years and will continue as number one. Behind him, six positions to be extended by four for exceeding the official retirement age of 68, which, however, does not apply to Xi or any of his close associates.
As tradition dictates, China’s “beautiful seven” appeared this Sunday after the first plenary session of the Central Committee elected at the Communist Party Congress. The 203 members elected the 24 of the Politburo, from which arise the seven of the Permanent Commission. Among them, and as expected, no ally of Hu Jintao or Li Keqiang of the Youth Communist League. Although Hu Chunhua’s name was considered for the Standing Committee, he even dropped out of the Politburo, apparently due to his own resignation after the Hu Jintao incident.
Before a group of selected media, the seven members of the all-powerful Standing Committee of the Politburo appeared this morning in the majestic Golden Hall of the Great Hall of the People, a room larger than the narrow East Hall of previous conclaves so that there would be more space and less covid -risk. With great anticipation and applause from journalists, the delegation led by Xi Jinping emerged from one of the huge side doors, reaching the ceiling and revealing the hierarchical order of the new dome.
As Xi walked down the red carpet to greet those in attendance, his entourage followed him, also clapping, down the red carpet along the gilded columns to the podium in the center of the room. To pose for the cameras, the chosen ones were placed with Xi Jinping in the center and alternately left and right of him depending on their rank. From a wooden lectern behind which hung a red flag with hammer and sickle, he introduced them one by one to the audience between their arches.
At number two is Li Qiang, secretary of the Communist Party in Shanghai. At 63, he emerges as the one elected to replace the current Prime Minister, Li Keqiang, in March, who will retire at the annual meeting of the National People’s Congress. Despite Shanghai’s disastrous coronavirus lockdown in the spring, which lasted more than two months, Xi Jinping has praised it for its vigor in imposing lockdowns and restrictions. All foreshadow that strict ‘Covid 0’ policies in China will remain in place despite growing social unrest and its impact on the economy, which is usually headed by the Prime Minister.
Next, Zhao Leji appears as number three, reiterating to the Standing Committee that he is 65 years old and one of Xi Jinping’s closest allies. So far, as head of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, Zhao has waged a fierce anti-corruption campaign that has purged many of Xi’s internal rivals, including supporters of former President Hu Jintao. Traditionally, the number three tends to preside over the National People’s Assembly, the regime’s organic parliament.
In fourth place appears Wang Huning, who was also on the previous Standing Committee and climbs one position. 67 years old, he is the ideologue of the authoritarianism of the Chinese Communist Party and has coined the main slogans of the last three presidents. The first was Jiang Zemin’s «triple representation», which allowed the party to bring businessmen together; then it was followed by the “scientific concept of development” that Hu Jintao proclaimed, and it ended with the “rejuvenation of China” that Xi Jinping advocates. Despite these ties to his two predecessors, Wang is a capable and discreet political scientist who has survived several governments and, according to some experts, will preside over the National Assembly.
In fifth place is Cai Qi, 66, party secretary in Beijing. As Xi’s associate when he headed the industrial coastal province of Zhejiang, he shone with the magnificent organization of the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games held in the Chinese capital in February. The curious thing is that Cai, who has managed to avoid a total Covid incarceration like that of Shanghai, is under the secretary in that city.
The penultimate position is taken by Ding Xuexiang, 60, another longtime friend of Xi Jinping since the two met in Shanghai. As director of the party general bureau, he serves as chief of staff to the Chinese president and his “number two” was the one who called Xi on Saturday to get Hu Jintao away from the congressional closure.
Li Xi, party secretary in the prosperous industrial region of Canton (Guangdong) and before that in Liaoning, closes this dome. He is a 66-year-old personal friend of Xi Jinping and will lead the Central Commission for Disciplinary Inspection, which has become one of his most effective weapons for dominating the party unopposed.
Exactly, Xi emphasized this aspect in his presentation speech, warning that “on the road ahead, we must always press for our own reforms”. According to him, “a political party can only become invincible if it is committed to self-reform, even if it has a glorious past”, indicating an even greater strengthening of ideology in China. But without forgetting its role as a second world power, he recalled that “China cannot develop in isolation and the world cannot develop without China.” Insisting on his commitment to economic reform and the pursuit of high growth, he promised that the Asian giant will “open its doors even more”. But due to ‘Covid 0’ border and movement restrictions, he didn’t say when. And not a word about the episode involving Hu Jintao, whose forced departure from Congress does not appear in the Chinese media and about whom no one has seen or knows anything about.
Source: La Verdad