China Communist Party enshrines 'Xi Jinping Thought' in constitution

Chinese President Xi Jinping declares the closing of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing.
PHOTO: Reuters

BEIJING - China's ruling Communist Party enshrined President Xi Jinping's political thought into its constitution on Tuesday, putting him on the same level as the founder of modern China Mao Zedong and cementing his power ahead of a new top leadership line-up.

The party unanimously passed the amendment to include "Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era" as one of its guiding principles at the end of its week-long congress.

It will announce its new Standing Committee, the apex of power in the country, around midday (0400 GMT) on Wednesday. The current committee is made up of seven people.

Whether Xi was able to have his name "crowned" in the party constitution had been seen as a key measure of his power, elevating him to the level of previous leaders exemplified by Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory.

No other leader has had an eponymous ideology included in the document while in office since Mao. Deng's name was added after his death in 1997.

Xi's more recent predecessors, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, both had the party constitution amended to include their guiding thoughts, but without their names directly attached.

Jiang had his "Three Represents" embracing private entrepreneurs written in, while Hu, Xi's immediate predecessor, had his economic doctrine of "scientific development" included.

Xi has rapidly consolidated power since assuming party leadership in late 2012 and then the presidency the next year.

The party gave Xi the title of "core" leader a year ago, a significant strengthening of his position ahead of the congress, which is held once every five years.  

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