On Thursday, the Chinese Communist Party made a breakthrough for Xi Jinping that will help secure his political future by rewriting history.
Senior party officials at a closed meeting in Beijing approved the decision to reassess the 100-year history of the party and anchor Xi in the official firmament of the party leaders who define the era. The move, reported in the official meeting report, elevated Xi to the level of Mao Zedong, founder of the country’s communist rule, and Deng Xiaoping, chief architect of the economic take-off.
Under Xi’s leadership, China has “made historic achievements and underwent historic transformations,” the meeting’s official summary or communiqué says, welcoming what the party has described as successes in the economy, foreign policy, anti-pollution and COVID containment. The communique said that under Mao, Deng, and now Xi, China “underwent a tremendous transformation, becoming a strong position and prosperity.”
This week’s meeting marked the start of a landmark year in Chinese politics. His statements will play a big role in shaking up leadership at the Communist Party convention, which is likely to take place in 2022, when Xi, China’s most powerful leader in decades, is on his way to reaching his third five-year term as head of state. general secretary of the party. There is no rival leader or clear heir in sight.
The decision to place Xi among the country’s historical giants will reinforce his argument that he is the only leader who can lead China to superpower status in uncertain times. China passed COVID-19 The pandemic is relatively good, but it faces economic risks from debt-laden companies and social pressures from local governments as populations age and mistrust grows from the United States and other Western countries.
On Thursday, in a video from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum, Xi urged Asian countries to resist the formation of “small circles for geopolitical reasons,” a clear reference to President Joe Biden’s efforts to strengthen the alliances of democracies to counter China.
“The Asia-Pacific region cannot and should not fall into the antagonism and division of the Cold War era,” he said.
Xi faced a series of crises, but he often managed to turn them into justification for his tough views. In response to months of pro-democracy unrest in Hong Kong, he introduced a harsh security law. He applied sweeping restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19 in China. And Beijing declared victory after Canadian authorities released Meng Wanzhou, the Chinese telecommunications manager, while China quietly released two Canadians it had arrested.
By claiming a third term as party leader, which he is expected to do next year, Xi will break his habit of staying in power for just two terms. In 2018, Xi Jinping played a bold power game, lifting the term limit for the presidency, opening the door for him to unrestricted leadership of China. The move defied widespread expectations that the party was limited to a 10-year leadership limit for leaders.
Celebrating C’s accomplishments can help keep C safe from any problems with its track record. This decision is bound to be the subject of an intense propaganda campaign as well as indoctrination sessions for party officials.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.