10/28/2016, 09.44
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Party Plenum crowns Xi Jinping "core" leader

by Wang Zhicheng

This title gives him absolute power. The next party congress will be in the second half of 2017. Changes predicted for many Party seats even in the Politburo. No member is above the party discipline.

Beijing (AsiaNews) - At the conclusion of the Chinese Communist Party Plenum, Xi Jinping was crowned the "core leader”, the same title that Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin took.

The statement released yesterday evening at the end of four days of closed door meetings, is asking all members to "closely unite around [its] Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core”. It also indicates that the next national party congress will be held "in the second half of 2017 in Beijing", giving way to the formal preparation of the event.

The new definition of Xi will allow him to have considerable power - absolute in practice - of resignations and promotions in the Central Committee. By next year at least 11 seats of the 25 Politburo will be vacant for because of retiring members. These include five seats in the permanent Committee of the Politburo, the apex of Party power.

Since coming to power in 2012 as general secretary, Xi has accumulated more and more positions in the Party, the Head of State (as president), the head of the army (as chairman of the Military Commission). With the launch of economic reforms, he also became head of the committee that oversees these reforms, occupying a field that was previously left to the premier.

This rise has been favored by its anti-corruption campaign, launched against "tigers" and "flies", members of the Politburo and simple square at the base. Many of his opponents have been hit by accusations, followed by arrests, trials and convictions.

The Plenum statement has also established new rules for the internal Party official behavior. It warned the members of the Politburo, the Central Committee and the Standing Committee against "disobedience" to  Party decisions, "wavering on policy positions"  or being polluted by "incorrect ideologies."

The press release states that no organization or individual can be above the discipline of the Party which forbids corruption, electoral fraud, vote rigging and positions.

The question many analysts are asking is how will the Party will correct itself without independent commissions, without freedom of the press or freedom of speech.

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