Xi Jinping joins Mao pantheon: What it means for China & world
It’s the Xi Jinping Moment as China’s Communist Party elevated and exalted the 64-year-old princeling with the common touch to the pantheon of the party immortals, Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, making him the most powerful Chinese leader in decades. On a cold winter morning in Beijing on October 24, the Xi Jinping Thought shone the path to realising the Chinese Dream as the week-long Party Congress concluded by enshrining the 64-year-old leader’s philosophy into the Chinese constitution, and setting him up for a prolonged stay in power, much beyond 2022 when his second term ends.
More than 2,000 delegates gathered in the majestic Great Hall of the People in Beijing’s iconic Tiananmen Square and unanimously voted to incorporate “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics in a New Era” in the constitution on the final day of the week-long 19th Party Congress, a twice-a-decade meeting of the party’s ruling oligarchy.
Xi Jinping, who had inspired and enthralled the party elite and the nation with his three-and-a-half hour speech on the opening day of the congress, exuded quiet authority and poise as he spoke about “great strength and vitality,” of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the 21st century.
Xi Jinping Thought will now be on a par with Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory as a “guide to action” and revitalisation of the CPC and the Chinese nation. It will be now mandatory learning for Chinese students from primary schools through to universities.
This ceremonial elevation of Xi Jinping in the CPC pantheon will have significant ramifications for the world as it deals with the most powerful Chinese leader in decades, who has his own vision of making China a global power, which could bring him in conflict with other power centres.