lørdag 21. august 2021

Xi Personality Cult Predictive of a Third Term in Office For China's Leader

A growing trend for extra-large public portraits of ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) general secretary Xi Jinping is a further indicator that China's leader will likely remain in office for a third term after the country's rubber-stamp parliament removed term limits from the job in March 2018. During a recent ceremony in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, marking the 70th anniversary of CCP rule there, a single, large portrait of Xi was displayed alongside another image showing five past leaders, as regional CCP secretary Wang Yang made a speech.

The arrangement was in stark contrast to a similar ceremony 10 years earlier marking the 60th anniversary of the People's Liberation Army (PLA)'s annexation of Tibet in 1951. Xi, then vice-president, lauded the "wise decision-making and correct leadership" of his predecessors in a speech in Lhasa, mentioning late supreme leaders Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, as well as former CCP general secretary and president Jiang Zemin. No portraits were displayed.

When Wang Yang stood up to speak on Aug. 19, 2021, however, he spoke only of Xi. "We must adhere to the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and thoroughly study the spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping's important speech at the Seventh Central Tibet Work Forum and the spirit of important instructions during inspections in Tibet," he told assembled dignitaries. "Since the 18th CCP National Congress [when Xi took power], Tibet has entered its best new era," Wang said.