Xi Jinping promises communist party a 'new era' of Chinese global power

Speaking in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, at the start of the week-long 19th party congress, Xi told delegates they should 'strive with endless energy toward the great goal of national rejuvenation'

Xi Jinping arrives for the opening of the 19th National Congress of the Communist party of China at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing (Photo: Reuters)
Xi Jinping arrives for the opening of the 19th National Congress of the Communist party of China at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing (Photo: Reuters)

President of China Xi Jinping heralded the dawn of a “new era” of Chinese politics and power, at the start of a historic Communist party congress celebrating the end of his first term in power.

 “All comrades must aim high and look far, be alert for dangers even in times of calm,” China’s 64-year-old leader declared.

“A great cause calls for leadership of a strong party.”

Xi became the Communist party’s general secretary at the last party congress, in 2012, and has since emerged as one of China’s most dominant rulers, since Mao Zedong.

In a three hour and 23 minute-long address entitled “Secure a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and strive for the great success of socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era”, Xi struck somewhat of an upbeat tone.

“The Chinese nation is a great nation - it has been through hardships and adversity but remains indomitable. The Chinese people are a great people - they are industrious and brave and they never pause in pursuit of progress.”

“The Communist party of China is a great party - it has the fight and mettle to win”.

More than 2,200 delegates have poured into Beijing for the week-long gathering.

“This is a joyous occasion,” Hu Xiaohan, the director of the Congress’ media centre, said at a reception on Monday night.

The event, which Xi will use to pack the Communist party’s upper-ranks with allies, marks the official end of what was expected to be the first of two five-year terms in power.

For some, though, it has come to represent the advent of a new political era, which could very well extend beyond the initially anticipated end of Xi’s second term, in 2022.

According to Chen Daoyin, Shanghai-based political scientist, congress heralded the start of China’s third great political epoch since Mao Zedong’s communists seized power, back in 1949.

The first was Mao and then Deng Xiaoping, the reformer who masterminded China’s economic opening.

“Now it’s Xi Jinping’s turn to usher in ... the Xi Jinping era,” said Chen.

He predicted Xi would be remembered as the leader who made China a “strong and powerful” nation: “Being strong first of all means being a global power - being a world leader and therefore leading the world. It also means that the Communist party must be strong, and that it must maintain one-party rule.”

Economy compared Xi’s bold political vision to a pyramid: “Xi Jinping sits on top of the Communist party, the Communist party sits on top of China - and China sits on top of the world.”

More in World

Get access to the real stories first with the digital edition