Chinese media urge new status for Xi
MOST Chinese people want Communist Party chief Xi Jinping to be a “core” leader in the mould of Mao Zedong, official media said a survey showed, as he seeks to consolidate his control.
The People’s Tribune magazine, an affiliate of the Communist Party friendly People’s Daily, this week published results of a survey of 15,000 people.
It said they agreed “the rise of a great nation calls for strong, core leadership” – terminology that denotes the supremacy of a single, outstanding leader.
The report connected Mr Xi to the legacies of Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, China’s most powerful rulers of recent decades, who fundamentally changed the direction of the country.
The report came with 400 top party leaders convened in Beijing for a meeting known as the Sixth Plenum to discuss changes to party structure and discipline.
Mr Xi has sought to bend the party to his will since taking its helm in 2012, and has already taken control of more levers of power than any leader since Mao.
Analysts have speculated that Mr Xi could seek to stay in power beyond the traditional 10-year term.
In Chinese politics the “core” denotes a degree of individual authority that is not constrained by term limits, Willy Lam, professor of politics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong told AFP.
The People’s Tribune said respondents admired Mr Xi’s confident strategic thinking, his bravery in facing problems and his “personal charisma”.
The survey report included dire warnings that weakening the core can “easily cause civil war, invasion by foreign enemies, and the destitution of the people. This is the painful lesson 100 years of blood and tears in recent Chinese history have given us.” –
Xi Jinping is allegedly seen as a core leader, much like Mao Zedong.