China's Communist Party to amend its constitution at October congress

President Xi Jinping is widely expected to break with precedent at the congress that starts on October 16 and secure a third five-year leadership term, cementing his status as China's most powerful leader since Mao Zedong

September 09, 2022 05:18 pm | Updated 05:18 pm IST - BEIJING

File picture of Chinese President Xi Jinping and his cadres at the closing ceremony for the 19th Party Congress held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on October 24, 2017.

File picture of Chinese President Xi Jinping and his cadres at the closing ceremony for the 19th Party Congress held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on October 24, 2017. | Photo Credit: AP

China's ruling Communist Party will amend its constitution next month during a leadership reshuffle held over five years, a move that some analysts said could consolidate President Xi Jinping's authority and stature within the party.

State news agency Xinhua said on Friday that the Politburo discussed a draft amendment to the party constitution in a meeting chaired by Mr. Jinping, without specifying the changes.

Mr. Jinping is widely expected to break with precedent at the congress that starts on October 16 and secure a third five-year leadership term, cementing his status as China's most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, founder of the People's Republic.

The party's constitution was last amended in 2017 to enshrine "Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics", a move that burnished Mr. Jinping's standing.

Xi Jinping Thought

Political watchers say one possibility is an amendment that shortens the ideology to "Xi Jinping Thought", upgrading its stature to that of "Mao Zedong Thought".

Another possible change that would also be seen as an elevation of Mr. Jinping's power would be to enshrine the "Two Establishes", a recent phrase which means the party establishes Mr. Jinping as its "core" and his ideas as guiding principles.

Less likely, some pundits have suggested that the constitution could reinstate the paramount position of party chairman, which was abolished in 1982.

The party constitution can only be amended during the once-in-five-years congress.

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