søndag 7. november 2021

China’s Xi Jinping, preparing for a third term, shuts the door on the past

As world leaders in Glasgow, Scotland, attempted to hash out an agreement to confront the global climate crisis in recent days, Chinese President Xi Jinping was not among them. Instead, his attention was on priorities closer to home, where he intends to make history of a different kind at a meeting of the Chinese Communist Party’s top leaders in Beijing in the coming days.

In an unusual flair of ceremony, a meeting of the Central Committee, a decision-making body of 204 top officials, will review — and almost certainly pass — a resolution on the “major achievements and historical experiences” of the party’s first 100 years.

Only two previous leaders of China have similarly adjudicated on party history: Mao Zedong, the founder of the People’s Republic, and Deng Xiaoping, the strongman leader who unleashed market reforms in 1978. Both used the process to solidify power, settle thorny internal debates about the past and forge ahead with a new agenda.