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Will Xi Jinping change his close circle after securing third term?

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Beijing | May 18, 2022 7:24:13 AM IST
The fates of Chinese Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Premier Li Keqiang and five others remain uncertain as President Xi Jinping after securing his historic third term may seek to change his close circle.

CCP has a super-powerful central committee which President Xi Jinping has reshuffled regularly so that no one gets too comfortable.

The party chooses the 25-member Politburo. Of them, seven members, including the President, form the Politburo Standing Committee, an exclusive, super-powerful body. It comprises Xi and six others.

Xi's retirement is out of the question when he is becoming President for the third time, reported The Hong Kong Post.

However, there is speculation that Premier Li Keqiang will have to go. This seems true as in 2018, the Chinese Constitution was amended to remove the two-term limit for the President and not for the Premier.

Moreover, promoting Li Keqiang is not practically possible as Xi occupies the top spot.

The tragedy of Li will come full circle if he retires at the Party Congress. Close to former President Hu Jintao, Li was once thought of as his successor. But, Xi Jinping was favoured over him.

Another member Li Zhanshu is the current chairman of the standing committee of China's National People's Congress. He is known to be the third most powerful man in China and is considered close to Xi. But he is 71 too and will have to retire.

Wang Yang is 67 and is the Party secretary of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. However, like Premier Li, Wang is considered to be close to the Hu Jintao faction. Li Zhanshu and Zhao Leji, on the other hand, are said to be part of the Xi clique.

Three of the current seven members are expected to retire. Of the 25 members of the Politburo, 18 remain after deducting the seven members of the Standing Committee. Of the 18, nine will reach the retirement age by the time the 20th Congress convenes, as per the media portal.

That leaves nine "potential contenders" who have a chance to make it to the Standing Committee. Going by traditional retirement rules, six of them can serve only a single term and three can serve two terms. Three of these nine may be inducted into the Standing Committee at the Congress. (ANI)

 
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