By Fareeza Haniff in Beijing
China’s President Xi Jinping was on Sunday re-elected to serve a record third term as the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC), making him the first leader in the 101-year-old party to cement power in this post.
The General Secretary is the most powerful person in the CPC and in 2018, President Xi tightened his grip on the Party when he amended the CPC’s constitution and abolished the two-term limit.
At the end of the CPC’s week-long 20th National Congress on Saturday, a total of 205 senior party officials, including Xi, were elected to sit on the Central Committee.
This committee then elected members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC at a plenary meeting on Sunday at the Great Hall of the People at Tiananmen Square in Beijing.
The Politburo Standing Committee (PSC) is comprised of the top leadership of the party and these officials, including President Xi, were revealed to the local and foreign media in China on Sunday for the first time.
With President Xi at the helm, the other members of the PSC are Shanghai Communist Party chief Li Qiang, Zhao Leji and Wang Huning, who return from the previous committee, and newcomers Cai Qi, Ding Xuexiang, Li Xi and Li Qiang.
This committee of all men usually conducts policy discussions and makes decisions on major issues regarding the country of 1.4 billion people with the second-largest economy in the world.
In the Great Hall of the People on Sunday, President Xi introduced the committee members and expressed “sincere” thanks to the “comrades of the whole party for their trust.”
He reminded that the CPC is embarking on a new journey of “comprehensively building a modern socialist country, marching toward the second centenary goal, and comprehensively promoting the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation with Chinese-style modernization.”
The Chinese leader emphasised that the CPC is a party for the people, noting that “the people will always be our most solid support and the strongest foundation. We must always be in the same boat with the people, close to the hearts and minds of the people, think about what the people think, do what the people say, and constantly turn the people’s aspiration for a better life into reality.”
‘The World Needs China’
Pointing out that the world today faces “unprecedented challenges”, President Xi said countries can “live in harmony, cooperate for win-win results, and work together to create a better future…”
The Chinese President acknowledged that China’s development is “inseparable” from the world but emphasised that the world also needs China as he boasted about the country’s economy.
“Through more than 40 years of unremitting efforts in reform and opening up, we have created two miracles of rapid economic development and long-term social stability.
“At present, China’s economy is resilient, has sufficient potential, and has wide room for maneuver, and the long-term good fundamentals will not change. China’s door to opening up will only get bigger and bigger.
“We will unswervingly deepen reform and opening up in an all-round way, unswervingly promote high-quality development, and create more opportunities for the world with our own development.”
The Chinese leader is expected to serve for five years as the General Secretary and is slated to be re-elected as President at the National People’s Congress (NPC) in March next year.