China’s ruling Communist Party has agreed to amend the party constitution, required to embed President Xi Jinping’s political thought, ahead of next week’s 5-yearly party congress in which Xi will further tighten his grip on power.
The party’s Central Committee, the largest of its elite ruling bodies, on Saturday passed a previously announced proposal to amend the constitution which will currently be put to the Congress for formal approval.
A lengthy communique released by the party via state media offered praise for the past 5 years under Xi’s leadership, especially success inside fight against corruption, however did not say what wording might be inserted into the party constitution.
A key measure of Xi’s power will be whether he manages to have his name “crowned” inside party constitution, elevating him to the level of previous leaders exemplified by Mao Zedong Thought along with Deng Xiaoping Theory. Xi’s more recent predecessors, Jiang Zemin along with Hu Jintao, both had the party constitution amended to include their guiding thoughts, however without their names directly attached.
Jiang has his “Three Represents,” which embraced private entrepreneurs, written in, while Hu, Xi’s immediate predecessor, had his economic doctrine of “scientific development” included.
The party has been pushing Xi’s “Four Comprehensives,” which refer to China working “comprehensively” to build a moderately prosperous society along with strengthen reforms, rule of law along with party discipline, as well as the “Four Greats”, which focus on party building along with national rejuvenation.
The four-day Central Committee plenary meeting also approved reports by the party’s corruption watchdog of investigations into several former senior officials who have been sacked or jailed for graft, including Sun Zhengcai, once a contender for top leadership who was expelled coming from the party last month.
Since assuming power 5 years ago, Xi has mounted a sweeping campaign against deep-rooted corruption, with more than one million people punished along with dozens of senior officials jailed.
The party has vowed that will the campaign, overseen by close Xi ally Wang Qishan, will never end.
The Congress will open on Wednesday that has a speech by Xi, the party’s head, details of which are a closely guarded secret ahead of time however will focus more on ideology than concrete policies.
Last October, the party gave Xi the title of “core” leader, a significant strengthening of his position ahead of the Congress, at which a completely new Standing Committee, the pinnacle of power in China, will be constituted.