The anointment of President Xi Jinping as the ‘core leader’ in the recently concluded 19th Chinese Communist Party congress, and by enshrining his thoughts on “Socialism with Chinese characteristics in a new era” in the party’s constitution, Jinping has elevated himself to the exalted status of Chairman Mao Zedong. Like the Little Red Book, Jinping’s thoughts have now been made compulsory reading for Chinese students, government officials and party functionaries.
Jinping, before the convention of the congress, where his elevation was a foregone conclusion, had systematically purged all his potential rivals. His Machiavellian statecraft had ensured that he had a vice-like grip over the party. Added to this, by not naming his successor, he has ensured complete support for his supremacy in the party. This has, in a way, put an end to the collective leadership the party has been following for the running of the country.
Today, China under his leadership has emerged stronger, both economically and politically. In the leaders’ column published in The Economist, Jinping has been described ‘as the dominant engine of global growth’. He was also described ‘as an apostle of peace and friendship, a voice of reason in a confused and troubled world’.