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China’s Communist Party to enshrine Xi Jinping’s philosophy in constitution

Analysts say Xi could use the congress to consolidate his already vast powers by stacking the ruling council with loyalists.

world Updated: Oct 17, 2017 18:23 IST
Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during the 86th INTERPOL General Assembly at Beijing National Convention Center on September 26, 2017 in Beijing, China.
Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during the 86th INTERPOL General Assembly at Beijing National Convention Center on September 26, 2017 in Beijing, China.(Reuters)

China’s Communist Party will enshrine President Xi Jinping’s political philosophy in its constitution at its five-yearly congress, which will end on October 24, a spokesman said Tuesday.

Xi will open the gathering of some 2,300 delegates in Beijing on Wednesday to reshuffle the party’s top leadership and accept a customary second five-year term as secretary general.

Congress spokesman Tuo Zhen announced the congress’ end date and said it will amend the constitution to embody the “new vision and thinking” over governance presented by the Central Committee with Xi at its “core”.

Tuo fell short of saying whether Xi’s name would appear in the document, an honour that has only been bestowed to modern China’s founder, Mao Zedong, and the father of market reforms, Deng Xiaoping.

Such a step would be a potent symbol of Xi’s ascension to the pantheon of China’s leadership.

China's President Xi Jinping arrives for the closing session of China's National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, March 15, 2017. (REUTERS)

Analysts say Xi could use the congress to consolidate his already vast powers by stacking the ruling council, the Politburo Standing Committee, with loyalists.

Tuo did not indicate when the names would be announced, but the members are usually presented to the public the day after the last day of the congress.

Xi, 64, and Premier Li Keqiang, 62, are expected to remain while the five other current members are supposed to step down according to an unwritten rule setting the retirement age at 68 years old.