Xi Jinping Offers a Long-term View of China’s Ambition

Kevin Rudd in The Financial Times

19th National Congress Of The Communist Party Of China (CPC) - Opening Ceremony

Chinese President Xi Jinping walks after delivering his speech during the opening session of the 19th Communist Party Congress held at the Great Hall of the People on October 18, 2017 in Beijing, China. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

ASPI President Kevin Rudd wrote an op-ed about Xi Jinping's iron grip on power in China coming out of the 19th Chinese Communist Party Congress. The following is an excerpt from the article which was originally published in The Financial Times

The 19th Chinese Communist party congress has generated much commentary, but what does it actually mean? Party congresses are essentially about three things: first, leadership, personnel and power; second, ideology; third, political vision.

On the first, President Xi Jinping has further strengthened his position. He is now China’s paramount leader. Five years ago I said he would be China’s most powerful leader since Deng Xiaoping. I was wrong. He is now China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong. Mr Xi has maintained an iron grip on the party through an anti-corruption campaign that has seen 278,000 officials punished, 440 at ministerial rank and above, including many politburo rivals. The campaign will continue. By midweek we will also see a new line-up for the Politburo Standing Committee, which will primarily reflect Mr Xi’s personal selection.

This congress points to Mr Xi continuing as China’s paramount leader beyond the next five years, and possibly for the next 15. His marathon speech last week emphasized completion of China’s next national mission by 2035, part of progress to becoming a major global power by mid-century. The inference is we will see Mr Xi in office through to the 2030's.

Read the full article here.