As the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party nears its closure, Xi Jinping, who is poised to clinch a third five-year term as leader, is gearing up to reveal the members of his new cabinet.
What Happened: Xi on Sunday will preside over the most dramatic moment of the Communist Party’s twice-a-decade Congress, where he will also announce the members of China’s elite Politburo Standing Committee, Reuters reported.
This came after Xi, in 2018, abandoned presidential term limits that allowed leaders to rule only for a decade. The unprecedented third term will place Xi as the country’s most powerful ruler since Mao Zedong.
“It is possible that the new PSC will consist entirely of Xi loyalists, which will signify the consolidation of his power but may pose risks for China. A group of ‘yes’ men at the top will limit the information available for decision-making,” Ben Hillman, director of the Australian Centre on China in the World at Australian National University, told the publication.
“The new PSC lineup will tell us whether Xi cares only about personal loyalty or whether he values some diversity of opinion at the top,” added Hillman.
Meanwhile, reports have indicated that Li Keqiang, who currently holds the premier position in Xi’s cabinet, will step down and most likely be replaced by the leading contender Wang Yang.
Hu Chunhua, the vice premier of China, Li Qiang, party secretary of Shanghai and Ding Xuexiang, Xi’s key aide, are among the few names to watch out for in the Politburo and its elite Standing Committee.
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