Set for 2nd term, China looks at Xi for long stay in power

RSTV Bureau
File photo of Chinese President Xi Jinping in Xiamen, Sept., 2017. AP/PTI Photo

File photo of Chinese President Xi Jinping in Xiamen, Sept., 2017. AP/PTI Photo

With the ruling Communist Party set to confirm second term of Chinese President Xi Jingping, speculations are already rife about his third term, now a distant five years away. Later this Wednesday, the once-in-a-five-year Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) is set to stamp on the Xi’s extension.

The developments in Chinese establishment are closely watched home, owing to the tension over Dokalam sector. The stand-off saw Chinese and Indian armies mounting the presence at the strategic tri-junction.

Xi was first elected as the General Secretary of the CPC in 2012 and later firmed up his power base after the outgoing leader Hu Jintao handed over him the coveted position of head of the military.

Starting his tenure with three powerful posts, Xi consolidated his position using the massive anti-corruption campaign against high ranking as well as middle and lower rung officials and top leaders. Over 1.34 officials have been punished in the anti-graft campaign.

Such was the consolidation of power of Xi specially enhancing his powers in the military that Premier Li Keqiang, 62 and other leaders who were elected along with him in 2012, took a backseat toning down their profile in public, observers say.

It is perhaps for the first time in 15 years, a Chinese leader will begin his second term after in power for five years, heading the three power centres.

While the Congress is expected to further reinforce power base of Xi, who has already been named by the party as a “core leader” like party founder Mao Zedong and his successor Deng Xiaoping, observers say it is to be seen whether he will break the convention and pave the way for his third term.

Also, the national and international attention will be on who the party is going to pick for the seven member Standing Committee which literally rules the country and whether there will be a hint for a successor.

Currently, Xi is the only civilian in the 11-member CMC

(With inputs from the Agencies)