China braces for a long and bitter winter as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is all set to change from a “One-Party System” to a “One-Person System”. Chinese leader Xi Jinping chaired a Politburo meeting on 30 August that decided to hold the party’s plenary meeting on 9 October, followed by the 20th National Congress of CCP on 16 October, according to an official announcement by the state-run Xinhua news agency.
The statement said that Xi Jinping would lead the whole party and continue to promote common prosperity and promote a community of shared future for humankind and great rejuvenation. The unambiguous statement emphatically signals that the ruling Chinese Communist Party will hold National Congress to support Xi Jinping formally, 69, to stay in power – on track for an unprecedented third five-year term until 2028 and perhaps for life – so far only enjoyed by Mao Zedong.
Xi’s third term in office marks his firm grip on the party and the country, and he will attend important international summits after the 20th Party Congress, including the G20 summit in Indonesia on November 15-16 and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Thailand a day later.
Xi Breaks Convention of Longest Tenure
The Communist Party of China holds a significant congress every five years, during which it reviews government and party work and approves plans for the next five years. The current “convention” within the party is that officials at the top leadership are replaced every 10 years, and Xi Jinping will break this convention.
Xi Jinping is the most powerful party leader in recent decades, and unlike his predecessor Hu Jintao, he consolidated the top leadership of the party, military, and government after he was elected general secretary in 2012-13. Shortly after taking office, Xi Jinping quickly consolidated his power and launched a massive anti-corruption campaign that saw more than a million officials fired or punished, including dozens of senior military officials.
End of Collective Model and Change One-Party System to One-Person System
While there is murmur within the party about breaking the two-term convention, the 2021 plenary session passed a landmark resolution that cemented Xi Jinping’s “core” position in CCP political history and extended his time in power to achieve A record third term, or even a lifetime in power, clears the way.
China’s constitution was amended in 2018 by the National People’s Congress, and the country’s parliament removed the president’s two-term limit. Xi Jinping, also declared the party’s core leader, officially ended the collective leadership model of equals among the party’s seven standing committee members.
Critics say the one-party system has become one-man under Xi. Under his leadership, Beijing has firmly established control over Hong Kong, downplaying “one country, two systems” and escalating regional tensions in Taiwan. Beijing claims Taiwan is part of China, but the CCP has never ruled Taiwan for a day in history.
In addition, under Xi Jinping, there have been two severe confrontations between Chinese and Indian troops – in Doklam in 2017 and eastern Ladakh in 2020 – the standoff in eastern Ladakh remains unresolved.
Xi Rule to Disintegrate CCP
Observers believe that Xi may be able to gain power at the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, but the predicament the CCP is facing now is structural, and it has fallen into a relatively complex situation both at home and abroad.
In the mainland, under the rule of the CCP, the extent to which Chinese people are forbidden to speak is simply unbelievable, just like before the collapse of many Chinese dynasties in history, showing a failure. Analysts believe that Xi’s greater power at the 20th National Congress will not help the CCP’s future disintegration because Xi basically will not make significant changes to the CCP, and in future, the CCP will continue to run wild in the direction of disintegration.
On the economic front, Xi Jinping’s first term was plagued by the problems of reducing high debt, demographic dividend, industrial overcapacity and eradicating extreme poverty. His second term, dominated by dealing with the US trade war and the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak that originated in Wuhan, has brought relations between the world’s two largest economies to their lowest point.
Xi Jinping has now announced that his post-20th work will focus on achieving shared prosperity to reduce rising inequality at home, give state-owned enterprises a more significant role, and weaken the role of the private sector. The outside world is full of scepticism about this propaganda.