BEIJING (AP) — Leaders of China's ruling Communist Party have set the stage for President Xi Jinping to extend his rule next year, praising his role in China’s rise as an economic and strategic power and approving a political history that gives him status alongside the most important party figures.
Central Committee members declared Xi’s ideology the essence of Chinese culture as they wrapped up a leadership meeting.
In unusually effusive language even for a Chinese leader, a party statement says it was of decisive significance for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
Xi has amassed more personal authority than any leader since at least Deng Xiaoping in the 1980s.
NBC News reports that Xi is only the third Chinese leader to have a historical resolution adopted during his presidency, with Xiaoping and Mao Zedong being the other two.
Xi has been expected to pursue a third five-year term as party general secretary, breaking with tradition. That will be decided next year at an event where leaders are appointed.
In their statement, the party emphasized its successes in overseeing China’s emergence as the world’s second-biggest economy, which could become the biggest in the next decade. However, the party glossed over deadly political violence in its early decades in power, as well as growing complaints about human rights abuses, The Associated Press reports.
The statement also affirmed China’s handling of Hong Kong, where it’s trying to stop pro-democracy activism and relations, and relations with Taiwan. The party says Taiwan is part of its territory and it’s trying to intimidate the island democracy by sending growing numbers of fighter jets and bombers near its coast, according to the AP.