China‘s Communist Party gave President Xi Jinping the title of “core” leader on Thursday, putting him on par with past strongmen like Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, but it signaled his power would not be absolute.
The “core” leader title marks a significant strengthening of Xi’s position ahead of a key party congress next year, at which a new Standing Committee, the pinnacle of power in China, will be constituted.
Since assuming office almost four years ago, Xi has rapidly consolidated power, including heading a group leading economic reform and appointing himself commander-in-chief of the military, though as head of the Central Military Commission he already controls the armed forces.
Deng coined the phrase “core” leader. He said Mao, himself, and Jiang Zemin were core leaders, meaning they had almost absolute authority and should not be questioned.
Judging by recent past precedent, Xi should step down at the 2022 congress after a decade at the top, but speculation in leadership circles has swirled that he may try and stay on, perhaps giving up the post as president but remaining as party leader, the more senior of the posts
SOURCES- Free beacon, South China Morning Post
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