Chinese President Xi joins Mao and Deng as lingxiu

The Communist Party of China (CPC) has named President Xi Jinping as the lingxiu — a status that has been bestowed only to iconic leaders Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping.

The People’s Daily , the official newspaper of the CPC seeking absolute loyalty towards Mr. Xi, posted an article on Monday, which, for the first time, elevated Mr. Xi as lingxiu — or “leader”.

“We are fully aware of our responsibilities. We should resolutely support the core, faithfully follow the lingxiu, use our courage and morale... and make strides toward a brighter future,” read the article.

The word lingxiu means “leader” with a positive political connotation and refers to highly revered state leaders, the state-run Global Times reported.

“The word lingxiu means more than just a leader. It is often bestowed to a leader who enjoys the highest prestige, who is the most capable and who is widely recognised by the entire Party,” the Global Times quoted Su Wei, a professor at the Party School of the CPC Chongqing Municipal Committee, as saying.

“Usually lingxiu has broad meaning and refers to several people at the highest level. But in the current circumstances, it has specific meaning which may endow Mr. Xi a role equivalent to Deng and Mao,” says Roger Woo, a political analyst in a conversation with The Hindu. The Global Times noted that military's official PLA Daily also referred to Mr. Xi as lingxiu on January 5 last year.