For Chinese leaders, the Olympics weren’t an extravagant element in 2022

BEIJING (AFP) – The just-concluded Winter Olympics were not China’s biggest event of the year – at least indoors. For the Communist Party, this fall comes a major meeting likely to cement Xi Jinping’s standing as one of the nation’s most powerful leaders in seven decades of communist rule.

The party congress, which takes place every five years, is expected to appoint Xi to a third five-year term as its leader, in breach of recent past practices that set the first person in power for a 10-year term. That would clear the way for him to seek a third term as China’s president at the annual meeting of the legislature the following year.

For China’s 1.4 billion people and the rest of the world, Xi’s firm grip on power signals at least a partial return to the cult of personality that characterized the rule of Mao Zedong, who led communist China from its founding in 1949 until his death in 1976., and that the Party He moved away from her after the disaster of Mao’s Cultural Revolution.

“The party’s 20th congress will be very important though and probably because there will be no change of leadership,” said Bonnie Glaser, director of the Asia program at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. “Xi Jinping will likely set his priority agenda, which will provide insight into the ancient items he hopes to achieve.”

The overarching goal, which preceded Xi, was to “rejuvenate” China, building it into a powerful country that would be on a par with other major nations. Xi has sought to speed up this process, making it a key part of his mandate and expanding China’s global role.

His “Belt and Road” initiative has built ports, railways, and other infrastructure around the world. Chinese vaccines and other goods linked to the epidemic followed. China’s foreign policy has become more powerful as it uses its growing military power to claim territory in the Pacific and rejects Western criticism of the Communist Party’s authoritarian ways.

While China remains a middle-income country on a per capita basis, Xi appears to be saying it is time for the world’s second largest economy to stand on an equal footing in international affairs.