11/12/2021, 17.00
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The CPC central committee’s 6th plenary session crowns Xi; like Mao and Deng, he embodies the best of China (and more)

by Li Qiang

The CPC approves a third historical resolution, acknowledging that Xi solved problems left by his predecessors. A third term as president is likely. Reunifying Taiwan will be part of his legacy, but the latter is threatened by a looming economic crisis and US pressure.

Beijing (AsiaNews) – The sixth plenary session of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) has adopted a third historical resolution in the party’s history, putting Chinese President Xi Jinping on par with Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, Communist China’s “immortal” leaders.

The document says that Xi Jinping's “thought” embodies the best of Chinese culture and modern spirit. His role is even greater because he “has solved difficult unresolved issues” that his predecessors failed to address.

The resolution reviews the CPC’s achievements in its 100 years of existence and foresees another century of victories thanks to the foundations laid by Xi. The goal of the current leadership is to create a prosperous society under the banner of 21st century socialism.

The first historical resolution, dated 1945, boosted Mao Zedong's power. With that of 1981, Deng Xiaoping condemned the excesses of the Cultural Revolution and launched market reforms.

This resolution, which came after four days of work behind closed doors, avoided conflicts with the past, focusing instead on Xi's future leadership.

Its analysis of history places great emphasis to the successes of the current supreme leader in the fight against corruption, (which according to critics is a campaign by Xi to eliminate his opponents within the CPC), the repression against the pro-democracy movement, and the battle against pollution.

Xi is also praised for balancing economic growth while handling the pandemic, reducing poverty, pushing for technological autonomy, and military modernisation.

The outcome of the plenary session paves the way for Xi’s third term in office as president, described as unprecedented by the regime's propaganda. In 2018, Xi had the two-third limit abolished.

The 20th Party Congress is set for the second half of next year. Meanwhile, the resolution reiterates Xi’s call for reunification with Taiwan, like that with Hong Kong.

For several observers, this is a sign that Xi wants to include in his legacy the island’s incorporation into mainland China.

Xi will however have to prove that he deserves the status of undisputed leader, and this might be sooner than expected. In fact, the COVID-19 pandemic remains a major issue as outbreaks continue to be reported in several provinces.

The health crisis is threatening China’s economic recovery. In the latest quarter, economic growth dropped sharply, which experts expect will get worse in the final three months.

In addition to the pandemic, the situation is compounded by power blackouts, the anti-trust campaign against web giants, and tighter loan requirements in the real estate.

Energy problems have prompted the government to boost coal production and use, counter to commitments made to fight pollution and global warming, which Xi boasted about.

Despite next week’s scheduled virtual summit between Xi and Joe Biden, and the joint US-Chinese declaration on climate at the COP26 summit in Glasgow, Xi faces a series of major challenges from abroad.

Washington is not only  working with its allies and partners to contain China’s rise, but in a new blow to bilateral relations, the US president yesterday signed legislation preventing Chinese hi-tech giants Huawei and ZTE from receiving new equipment licences from US regulators.

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