Xi gets his young teammates, no clear hint of heir apparent

Beijing : China’s ruling Communist Party on Wednesday unveiled its new leadership headed by President Xi Jinping to rule the world’s second largest economy for the next five years with no clear hint of a heir apparent, leaving room for him for an unprecedented third term.

In the most-widely watched political event telecast live across the world, Xi, 64 walked in front of the national and international media followed by the number two ranked leader, Premier Li Keqiang and five other new members of the Politburo Standing Committee which will rule the country for the next five years.Xi introduced all the six members to the packed local and international media at Beijing’s massive Great Hall of the People and then spoke about his vision for China and the world.

Besides Xi and Li, the other members of the ruling council are Xi’s chief of staff Li Zhanshu (67) vice premier Wang Yang (62) leading Communist Party theoretician Wang Huning (62) party organisation department head Zhao Leji (60) and Shanghai party chief Han Zheng (63).

The new faces replaced leaders who had reached an informal retirement age of 68. The age of the new leadership gives an indication that none of them could succeed Xi at the next party Congress in 2022.

The announcement follows the end of the week-long Communist Party National Congress, the biggest event in China’s political calendar, which is held every five years.

The CPC Congress on its final day on Wednesday amended its Constitution to add Xi’s name and ideology, elevating him on par with modern China’s founder Chairman Mao Zedong and his successor Deng Xiaoping.

Till now, only the thoughts of Mao and Deng were enshrined in the Constitution of the world’s longest ruling Communist Party, interpreting the complex doctrine of Marxism with Chinese characteristics. The thoughts of Deng, China’s reformist leader, were added posthumously.

Addressing the media after introducing the new committee, Xi spoke of how China will steadfastly uphold sovereignty and its security and interests.

“With confidence and pride, the Chinese people will be steadfast in upholding our country’s sovereignty, security and development interests,” he said.

Xi said China will work with other nations to build a global community with a shared future, and make new and greater contributions to the noble cause of peace and development for all humanity.

He said the CPC will generate waves of positive energy to build the country into a mighty and nationwide force driving its development and progress.

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