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Coup rumours belied as crucial upcoming party congress scripted to re-elect Xi Jinping 

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(TibetanReview.net, Sep26’22) – While baseless rumours twirled on social media about some sort of a coup being staged against President Xi Jinping, China has completed the “election” of nearly 2,300 delegates to the 20th party congress with such care as to ensure that another five-year term for him at next month’s meeting is a foregone conclusion. An editorial to be published by the People’s Daily, a flagship newspaper of the Communist Party of China (CPC), has congratulated the delegates to the upcoming CPC National Congress on their election, and urged them to perform their duties faithfully, said reported China’s official Xinhua news agency Sep 25.

A total of 2296 delegates were selected “under the guidance of Xi Jinping thought”, the afr.com Sep 26 cited a statement released by Xinhua on Sep 25 night as saying, leaving little doubt about the loyalty of the representatives to Mr Xi.

The congress will start on Oct 16 and is expected to mark the start of President Xi’s unprecedented third term as the party’s leader and thereafter as state President from Mar 2023.

The twice-in-a-decade congress will see a major shuffle of the party’s top leadership for the next five years and amend the party charter, which is expected to further raise Xi’s personal status, noted the scmp.com Sep 26.

The report cited Xinhua as saying the selection of delegates was guided by “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era”, the political philosophy of the president that is enshrined in the state’s constitution and party charter.

The delegates will choose members of the party’s Central Committee. The members of the Central Committee will then vote for the 25-person Politburo and its Standing Committee, the power centre of the ruling party. All already decided beforehand, with the voting being only a formality.

The report noted that the list of delegates included all members of the Politburo, the Central Military Command and top military officials in charge of theatre commands and commanding various services, regional party chiefs and governors, top secretaries in charge of major party apparatuses – including discipline, security, propaganda and personnel – ministers and party chiefs of ministries and the top legislative and political advisory bodies.

Xi, who is also the party’s general secretary and chairman of the Central Military Commission – the top military commanding body – was elected a delegate at the party’s Guangxi regional congress in April, while Premier Li Keqiang was elected in Gansu, the report noted.

Alfred Wu, an associate professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, has said the list of delegates represented a “party consensus that has been reached ahead of the actual meeting”.

And Professor Xie Maosong, a senior fellow at the Taihe Institute and a senior researcher at the National Institute of Strategic Studies at Tsinghua University, has said the largely expected delegation list was one way for the party to tell the country and the world that the transition for the next leadership team was “all under control”.

“The lead time of this announcement, the formation of the delegations, did not deviate from the norm. Also, all the key people are in the list of delegates. In fact, there is no news, but subtly the party is trying to tell people that no news is good news because the transition will be smooth,” Xie has said.

“The 20th party congress will just be largely a formality to endorse the party leadership’s decisions and directions, as the negotiations for key positions started way ahead of the congress and ended when it announced the date for the congress at the end of August. By now, the Politburo members should have a pretty clear idea of the upcoming reshuffle,” Wu has said.

The People’s Daily editorial was cited as speaking of a firm belief that “under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core and through the concerted efforts of all the delegates, the 20th CPC National Congress will be a congress of unity, victory and endeavor.”

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