Xi Jinping tightens grip on power as China’s Communist party elevates his status

China: Xi Jinping passes constitution amendment as Hu Jintao escorted out. [The Guardian]

China’s president, Xi Jinping, has strengthened his power as leader and elevated his status within Communist party (CCP) history, with major political resolutions announced on the final day of a key political meeting.

On Saturday, the CCP congress approved amendments to its constitution, including the “Two Establishes” and “Two Safeguards”, aimed at enshrining Xi as at the core of the party and his political thought as its underpinning ideology.

A list of reappointed delegates also confirmed the premier, Li Keqiang, would be retiring from politics, along with several other senior party figures. Analysts said their exclusion was a strong sign that the next politburo standing committee (PSC), to be unveiled on Sunday, would be dominated by Xi’s allies and his power would be further consolidated.

Xi, 69, began his closing speech around midday, as party officials announced the confirmation of the amendments, which all but confirmed that Xi would remain in power for another term.

He is widely expected to be reaffirmed this weekend as the party’s general secretary, paving the way for him to gain a norm-breaking third term as Chinese president.

“Dare to struggle, dare to win, bury your heads and work hard. Be determined to keep forging ahead,” he told those gathered.

Thousands of CCP delegates, ostensibly representing the tens of millions of party members, are meeting in Beijing. The purpose is largely to rubber-stamp reshuffles of senior party positions and constitutional changes likely to have been decided long before the meeting began.

The meeting is highly choreographed and mostly behind closed doors. However, shortly before Xi’s