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CPC hails Xi as China's 'helmsman'; attacks US & western democracies

All Xi's predecessors retired after two five-year-tenures. In 2018, China scrapped the two-term limit on the presidency, effectively allowing Xi to remain in power for life

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Xi Jinping | China | US China

Press Trust of India  |  Beijing 

Xi Jinping
Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: Bloomberg

China's ruling Communist Party on Friday hailed President as its helmsman, a honorific title reserved for party founder Mao Zedong, saying that he has emerged an "anchor" for the party and a "backbone" for the nation, as he geared up for a record third-term and beyond.

The Communist Party of (CPC), which has monopolised political power since the People's Republic was founded in 1949, also attacked American President Joe Biden and asserted that democracy was not an "exclusive patent" of the US and the West.

Defending party's decision to enhance Xi's status as core leader, Jian Jinquan, Director of policy research of the CPC, told a press conference here that for a party with 95 million members and the country with 1.4 billion people, "it will be unimaginable had there not been a core of the party".

It will result in a "lack of cohesion and nothing can be accomplished," Jian said.

President Xi, 68, is also the General Secretary of the CPC and the Chairman of the Central Military Commission.

The Plenum of the CPC which wrapped up its four-day closed door meeting on Thursday, adopted a landmark resolution to cement Xi's "core" status in the country's political history and cleared the decks for him to extend his rule for a record third term next year and perhaps beyond.

The resolution - the only third of its kind in the party's 100-year history after one issued under party founder Mao and his successor Deng Xiaoping - was reviewed and adopted at the sixth plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Committee attended by over 400 senior party officials.

Xi's elevation as a core leader is the call of the times, the choice of history, and the common aspiration of the people," Jian said.

"In firmly upholding and safeguarding General Secretary Xi's core position, the Party has its decision-maker, the people have their mainstay, and the giant 'rejuvenation' ship of the Chinese nation has its helmsman," he said. "And in the face of rough waves, we will be able to 'stay on the fishing boat despite the wind and waves.'"

Mao had the honorific title of the great helmsman for his prolonged leadership of the party leading it to capture power in 1949 and ruled the country until his death in 1976.

Xi as "the core of the party, leader of the people and commander of the army is well deserved. This represents the prevailing aspiration of the people, Jian said as the once-in-five-year party conference next year scheduled to middle of next year set to confer on Xi an unprecedented third term and perhaps a life long tenure in power like Mao.

All Xi's predecessors retired after two five-year-tenures. In 2018, scrapped the two-term limit on the presidency, effectively allowing Xi to remain in power for life.

Jian while eulogising Xi's leadership sought to project the CPC as democratic party, refuting criticism of its autocratic functioning.

He specially attacked US President Biden's plan to hold a summit of democracies next month as Washington seeks to rally countries with democratic systems.

"Recently, the US has put together the so-called summit for democracies to revitalise the western democracy. To convene such a summit against the backdrop of loads of problems for the western democracies is such an irony. The intention is nothing but bashing other countries and dividing the world, which cannot be achieved," he said.

In an apparent attempt to project democratic credentials of the CPC, in a rare move Xi voted at a polling station here to elect deputies to a local people's congress on November 5.

"Democracy is not an exclusive patent of western countries and even less defined or dictated by western countries. Electoral democracy of the west is actually ruled by capital and it is the game of rich not real democracy. Democratic models of the world cannot be the same. Even the western forms of democracies are not entirely identical," Jian said.

Citing US opinion surveys which showed 95 per cent of support for the Chinese people, he said: "China's democracy is not only based on institutional procedures but also full of participation and practice".

"It is democracy of both process and outcome and both procedure and substance. It is both direct and indirect democracy. It is people's democracy in nature," he said.

"As for which country's democracy is good or bad the people living in those countries have a say. This is not to be judged by handful of people from other countries, he said.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Fri, November 12 2021. 20:08 IST
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