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China Communist Party could amend charter to include Prez Xi’s doctrine

The charter of China’s Communist Party could be amended to include President Xi Jinping’s doctrine, another sign of his growing clout as one of the strongest leaders in decades.

world Updated: Oct 12, 2017 17:01 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times, Beijing
President Xi Jinping,Communist Party of China (CPC),19th National Congress
File photo of Chinese President Xi Jinping at the opening ceremony of the fourth Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) Summit in Shanghai on May 21, 2014. (Reuters)

A draft amendment to the constitution of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which will possibly enshrine President Xi Jinping’s doctrine in it by his name, has been taken up for discussion at a closed-door meeting in Beijing.

The meeting of the CPC Central Committee, one of the top decision-making bodies of the 89-million-strong party, is being held in the run-up to the 19th National Congress that begins on October 18. It’s a key meet where large-scale changes to the party are expected.

The draft amendment, kept a secret so far, is widely being seen as a way to incorporate Xi’s thoughts – distilled as “four comprehensives” – in the CPC charter.

“President Xi’s thoughts will likely be incorporated as guidelines for the CPC,” a Chinese academic told Hindustan Times.

So far, the CPC charter only has “Mao Zedong’s Thoughts” and “Deng Xiaoping’s Theory” included in it by their names.

If the amendment is made, it would be the latest sign of Xi’s rapid rise in the country of 1.4 billion as one of the strongest Chinese leaders in decades. He took over as CPC chief in 2012.

It’s not clear what exact words could be used to include Xi’s thoughts in the charter; the specific amendment to the party constitution will only be revealed at the end of the Congress.

Xi is already the CPC general secretary, the chairperson of the Central Military Commission and the “core” of the party, which he was anointed as in October last year. He also heads an economic group overseeing reforms and is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

The CPC has often been accused of forwarding and promoting jargon but that they didn’t stop the state media from widely publicising Xi’s thoughts when they were first put forward in 2015.

Broadly, the “four comprehensives” comprise: Comprehensively build a moderately prosperous society, comprehensively deepen reform, comprehensively govern the nation according to law, comprehensively strictly govern the CPC.

Xi’s achievements including countrywide inspection tours he has made since taking over are being highlighted in the state media.

“These moves signalled the focus of Xi's governance, which has highlighted fulfilling the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation and realising the goals set for the centenaries of the CPC in 2020 and the People's Republic of China in 2049,” said a report on the website for the 19th National Congress.

“Since 2012, Xi has completed 50 inspection tours across the country, totaling 151 days,” it said.

An earlier report by the official Xinhua news agency had indicated the changes that would be incorporated in the CPC charter.

The report said amending the CPC constitution “must fully represent the latest sinicisation of Marxism, new governance concepts, thought and strategies of the CPC Central Committee since the 18th CPC National Congress, as well as new experience in adhering to and strengthening Party leadership and in strict Party governance.”

In all, the Central Committee meeting is discussing three documents, including the amendment to be put up to the National Congress, a draft report by the 18th CPC Central Committee, and a draft working report of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, Xinhua reported.

First Published: Oct 12, 2017 17:00 IST