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Is Xi Jinping the New Emperor? How China’s Leader Cemented Power and Eyes a Fifth Term

Daniel Kim Views  

As Xi Jinping, the General Secretary and President of China, has been making waves from east to west in the political scene, his political profile has skyrocketed in recent years. His political stature is skyrocketing, and there are predictions that he could surpass his current third term and run for an unprecedented fifth consecutive term. It would not be an exaggeration to say that he is on the path to becoming a true Emperor Shi Huangdi, his nickname.

Xi Jinping, the General Secretary and President of China, and Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, who is set to visit China on the 15th, are both known for being strongmen. Like Putin, who recently secured his fifth term, Xi’s fifth term is becoming a reality. /New China News Agency.

According to sources in Beijing, well-versed in information on Chinese power circles on the 12th, when Xi took power in 2012, it was expected that he would follow a path not much different from his predecessors, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao. It can be said that he would serve a second term and then step down, as is customary.

However, the reality was completely different. With his unique charisma, he quickly eliminated his political enemies one by one. He took complete control of the party and government, completely neutralizing the collective leadership system that had been customary since the last century’s end. His immense political popularity also played a significant role. His affectionate nickname “Xi Dada” (Uncle Xi) was not coined for nothing.

Since then, his path has been smooth. He easily secured a third term in 2022, putting him in the same league as top leaders like Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping. His momentum continues to this day. Just looking at the fact that he completed visits to three European countries on the 11th and returned home like a triumphant general is evidence enough. The fact that his wife, Mrs. Peng Liyuan, has become a general that has been trickling through the media is no mere coincidence.

In addition, on the 15th, he is scheduled to have a summit with Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, with whom he’s been flaunting his mutual bromance for a long time. With this, it can be said Xi’s popularity has soared even higher. Surprisingly, there is no sign of opposition within the upper echelons of the party and government.

There seems to be a growing sense of acceptance. In this regard, the extreme assertion of Yin Liping, a political commentator from Taiwan, that “the current hierarchy of power in China is meaningless. Nothing exists beyond Xi” seems to hit the nail on the head.

It could be said that what’s even more important is that, despite this, his popularity soars. Even if he runs for forward with a fifth term after four terms, there seems unlikely to be any opposition. Plus, there doesn’t seem to be a suitable successor in sight. Professor Zhang Weiwei of Fudan University in Shanghai, often called the “national advisor” of the party’s top leadership and government, recently spoke positively about this issue at an official seminar.

The only stumbling block may be his health and age. If he were to attempt a fifth term and complete his presidential term in March 2038, he would need to remain healthy until age 85. However, considering the status of the two older candidates in the U.S. presidential election, Xi’s consideration of a fifth term doesn’t seem like an impossible challenge.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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