Xi Jinping elevated to paramount ruler status

Chinese President Xi Jinping's political thought has been enshrined into the country's constitution, in a move that ranks him alongside modern China's founder Mao Zedong.
(First row, from left) Secretary of CCP Secretariat Liu Yunshan, National People's Congress chairman Zhang Dejiang, former president Hu Jintao, President Xi Jinping, former president Jiang Zemin, Premier Li Keqiang and Chinese People's Political Cons
(First row, from left) Secretary of CCP Secretariat Liu Yunshan, National People's Congress chairman Zhang Dejiang, former president Hu Jintao, President Xi Jinping, former president Jiang Zemin, Premier Li Keqiang and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference chairman Yu Zhengsheng raising their hands as they voted with fellow delegates at the closing session of the CCP's 19th national congress in Beijing yesterday. PHOTO: REUTERS

Mr Xi Jinping was yesterday confirmed as China's paramount ruler, on a par with Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping.

His political thoughts, bearing his name, have been enshrined in the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) Constitution. Some 2,300 delegates unanimously endorsed the move yesterday morning at the close of the party's week-long 19th national congress. They also elected the new 376-member party Central Committee and the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), the country's top anti-graft body.

Mr Zhao Leji was the top-ranked official in the new 133-member CCDI, making him likely to be the next anti-corruption czar as current head Wang Qishan, 69, was notably absent from the line-up.

The central committee will today decide the country's top leadership for the next five years, electing members of the Politburo as well as its powerful Standing Committee.

Five of the seven members of the Politburo Standing Committee, apart from Mr Xi and Premier Li Keqiang, have retired, and observers expect Mr Xi to stack the top body with his loyalists in the new line-up.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 25, 2017, with the headline 'Xi Jinping elevated to paramount ruler status'. Print Edition | Subscribe