Chinese President Xi Jinping has emerged on par with former leaders Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping with his political ideology being added into the constitution of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
The symbolic move came on the final day of a week-long political summit in Beijing, the 19th CPC National Congress, at which Xi, 64, pledged to lead the world’s second largest economy into a “new era” of international power and influence.
With the inclusion of “Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era”, Xi has surpassed veterans like Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao.
Xi is the third Chinese leader after Mao and Deng whose theory will be added to the constitution of the world’s largest political party.
“The Congress unanimously agrees on Xi Jinping’s ‘Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era’ in addition to Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong, Deng Theory,” the amendment to the constitution read.
“The Congress urges all Party members to use the Thought to achieve unity in thinking and action, be more purposeful and determined in studying and applying it.”
“Our party shows strong, firm and vibrant leadership,” Xi said in a brief address to more than 2,200 delegates.
“Our socialist system demonstrates great strength and vitality. The Chinese people and the Chinese nation embrace brilliant prospects.
“Today we more than 1.3 billion China’s people live in jubilation and dignity. Our land radiates with enormous dynamism. Our Chinese civilisation shines with lasting splendour and glamour,” the Guardian quoted Xi as saying.
Since the People’s Republic of China was founded in 1949, only Chairman Mao had been honoured in such a way while still alive, in his case with a political philosophy called Mao Zedong Thought.
Chairman Mao founded the People’s Republic of China in 1949.
Also on Tuesday, the CPC unveiled a new leadership, electing the 19th Central Committee to lead the party for the next five years.
The 19th CPC Central Committee will in turn elect the Political Bureau, the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau and the General Secretary at its first plenary session on Wednesday, reports Xinhua news agency.
According to the Party Constitution, the highest leading body of the CPC is the National Congress and the Central Committee it elects, and all constituent organisations and members of the Party are subordinate to the National Congress and the Central Committee.
The number of delegates to the National Congress and the procedure governing their election shall be determined by the Central Committee.