|▲Chinese President Xi Jinping, who won third consecutive term (Source: Yonhap News)|
Xi Jinping’s third consecutive term as Chinese President has been confirmed. The 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party was held from October 16th to 22nd at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. This Congress is the best decision-making body which is held every five years. It is responsible for adopting the report of the Party’s Central Committee and electing the next leadership. Through the 20th Party Congress, the Chinese President and seven members of the Politburo Standing Committee were elected. The Chinese President concurrently serves as the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and the Chairman of the Central Military Commission.
Xi’s third consecutive term established a one-man supreme leader structure within the Chinese Communist Party. It allows him to establish an influential position within the party and a powerful political base. Since taking power in 2012, he vowed the ‘Chinese Dream’, which means the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. He emphasized common prosperity and modernization of socialism. He set a goal of getting China to modernize to be the rich and powerful by 2049. He stated that his historical mission is saving socialism in China in the 21st century in his 20th Party Congress speech. He suggested future direction in terms of politics, economy, and technology. In the economic sector, his goal is making China be comparable to a middle-class developed countries in the per capita economic production output by 2049. In the technical field, he promised to reduce the technological dependence on other countries and develop their own technological competence as an independent body.
After the 23rd, as Xi’s third consecutive term was confirmed, protests broke out in and out of China. There were movements to resist his long-term rule. A lot of anti-Xi posters were put up on university campuses as well as a number of traces of messages were found in public toilets. The protests against his long-term rule began when Xi’s third term was virtually foreseen. The protests took place around major Chinese cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, as well as overseas cities such as London and Los Angeles centered by international students and anti-communist communities. It seems to have occurred conjunctionally with complaints about the excessive zero-Covid policy. However, SNS posts related to the protests have been deleted and censored, because public demonstrations against top leaders and authorities are prohibited in China.
Furthermore, as Xi secured his third consecutive term, the Chinese stock market listed in Hong Kong and New York plunged on the 24th. China’s yuan has dropped to the lowest level against the U.S. dollar since the 2007 – 2008 global financial crisis. It is the result of concerns of continuation of the strong Covid-19 sanctions and anti-market policies stance. Shares of Alibaba and Tencent fell more than 11%, Baidu fell more than 13%, and Meituan fell more than 14%. The yuan weakened sharply, finally recorded a maximum of 7.2751 yuan per dollar.
Meanwhile, North Korea, which has maintained a close alliance with China, sent congratulatory messages to Xi to celebrate his third consecutive term. It also made headlines in the Rodong Sinmun, announcing the news of his third consecutive term, and emphasizing friendly cooperation between China and them. South Korea mentioned that it will make efforts to develop healthy and mature Korea-China relations based on mutual respect and reciprocity. The White House made a statement that it will not comment on China’s internal politics, leaving open the possibility for the U.S.-China summit and a cooperative relationship.
In addition, in some cases, there are criticisms that Xi’s long-term rule is likely giving rise to totalitarianism. The international society needs to closely watch whether China’s one-man system leads to dictatorship. Likewise, it requires many countries need to pay attention to the conflict with the U.S., which is wary of China’s international order reorganization. Let’s keep interest in how his long-term rule will affect China and the whole world.
By Ki Dam-soo, cub-reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
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