© Reuters. Chinese President Xi Jinping casts his vote during the closing ceremony of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China October 22, 2022. REUTERS/ Tingshu Wang
By Yew Lun Tian and Eduardo Baptista
BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s Communist Party elected a new Central Committee on Saturday that doesn’t include Premiers Li Keqiang or Wang Yang, a sign analysts say the Ministry’s Standing Committee The next politics will likely include those loyal to Xi Jinping.
Li, who will step down in March as prime minister, and Wang, head of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, are both 67 years old and therefore eligible under China’s age standards to serve. 5 more years on the standing committee.
Neither of them have a long-term relationship with Mr. Xi, who is likely to bring four new faces to the Standing Committee introduced on Sunday, according to analysts and the media. Current members Wang Huning, 67, and Zhao Leji, 65, both believed to be close to Mr. Xi, are expected to be reappointed to the PSC.
Two other PSC members are past the retirement age.
Also on Saturday, the party approved amendments to its constitution that strengthen Xi’s core status and political ideological role in the party when it hosts the two-day congress. times a decade.
The new Central Committee on Sunday will select the elite Politburo Standing Committee, with Mr. Xi, 69, widely expected to secure a third term in leadership.
A third five-year leadership term will cement Mr. Xi’s position as China’s most powerful ruler since Mao Zedong, the founding leader of the People’s Republic.
Among the commendations for the party constitution, “Two Bases” identifies Xi as the “core” leader of the party and reinforces his ideas as a guide for future development. of China. The “two safeguards” ensure Xi’s “core” position in the party and the party’s centralized power over China.
Voting was conducted by show of hands in the vast Great Hall of the People, where most of the week’s party congress proceedings take place behind closed doors.
The congress ended with the military band playing the song “The Internationale”.
At its first plenary meeting on Sunday, the party’s new central committee will choose the next Politburo, usually 25, and the new Standing Committee, now seven.
The new leadership will be announced when Mr. Xi, expected to be renewed as China’s top general secretary, enters the journalists’ room in the Great Hall, followed by other members of the party. Politburo Standing Committee (PSC) in descending order. of rank.
During the closing ceremony, his predecessor Hu Jintao, who sat next to him, was escorted off the stage. Hu, 79, appeared slightly wobbly last Sunday as he was assisted on stage for the opening ceremony.