Meet China’s new men in charge, a line-up of leaders built around President Xi Jinping to cement his grip on power for the next five years, marching out to meet the press on Wednesday (October 25).
“The first plenary session of the nineteenth central committee elected a new central leadership, the congress re-elected me to continue as the General Secretary. I see this as not just an approval of my work, but also as an encouragement that will spur me on,” said Xi at the unveiling.
But its who isn’t on the roster that’s telling.
Aside from Premier Li Kequiang none of the old committee have kept their seats and in a break with tradition, none are a clear successors to the president.
All of them are old enough to likely retire in another five years, and that’s fueling speculation Xi may try to stay on past the end of his second term in 2022.
He’s already widely seen as China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, consolidating his power with a trademark anti-corruption campaign.
And this week, the Communist party enshrined Xi’s “political thought” into the constitution another callback to founding father Mao which in effect means that standing against Xi means standing against the party itself.