China: Xi Jinping Wins Third Term

China: Xi Jinping Wins Third Term
Last updated Oct 24, 2022
Image credit: Bloomberg/Getty Images [via CBS News]


  • Chinese Pres. Xi Jinping secured a third five-year term as the leader of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on Sunday, following a twice-a-decade Communist Party congress.
  • This comes as 2.4K CCP delegates attended the 20th Party Congress on Saturday to ratify constitutional changes and major reshuffles, reelecting Xi as the general secretary of the Politburo Standing Committee (PSC), and appointing its six additional members.
  • Newcomer Li Qiang, a close ally to Xi Jinping and the party chief of Shanghai, has been promoted to No. 2 in the CCP hierarchy, becoming the most likely candidate for the Chinese premiership next March. The PSC also includes Zhao Leji, Wang Huning, Cai Qi, Ding Xuexiang, and Li Xi.
  • Amendments to the CCP's charter instructed party members to recognize and protect Xi Jinping as the "core" of the party, to regard his governing philosophy as a key doctrine of party rule, and to protect the CCP's leading position in China.
  • A video showing former Pres. Hu Jintao — apparently resisting being escorted from the closing ceremony by party aides — has fueled speculation among China analysts despite state news agency Xinhua stating that he had been feeling unwell.
  • Xi's third term breaks with a traditional two-term limit, which was introduced by Deng Xiaoping in 1982 to prevent a return to a Mao-style of rule but retracted in 2018. Xi was named leader of the CCP in 2012.


Anti-China narrative

Xi Jinping, since the very beginning, has put himself on track to become the next Mao Zedong in Chinese politics. He has crushed dissent, uprooted civil society organizations, and expunged political rivals in his quest to be China's autocrat. Now, having secured a precedent-defying third term, Xi is set to push his vision of a strong nationalist China even further, with himself at the center.

Pro-China narrative

Xi is in power because he is a strong and charismatic leader who understands the complex challenges that contemporary China is facing. The CCP now has a strong and unified core leadership, which is advantageous to overcoming China's many political and economic obstacles.

Nerd narrative

There's a 57% chance that Xi Jinping will continue leading China in 2030, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

Establishment split



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