China's Xi Jinping to Cement His Power, Lay Out Vision for Country's Future

Chinese leader Xi Jinping is expected to cement his authority and pave the way to secure a third term in power during a closed-door, four-day meeting of the ruling Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) central committee in Beijing this week.

The sixth plenum, which opened on Monday and is expected to run through Thursday, will see Xi, 68, issue a draft resolution on the ruling Chinese regime's "major achievements and historical experience," according to state-run Xinhua News Agency.

"Xi Jinping is undoubtedly the core figure mastering the tide of history," the news agency said in relation to the resolution. A communique of discussions and resolutions is expected to be issued after the final session.

The resolution will be the third issued since the party was founded in 1921. Mao Zedong previously outlined his vision for the party in 1945, calling himself the one true leader. In 1981, Deng Xiaoping denounced Mao's failures.

The CCP's roughly 200-member committee is expected to lay the foundations for Xi to secure a third five-year term as president at next year's party congress, after the Chinese leader in 2018 abolished term limits. The party congress is held every five years.

"This is about creating a new timescape for China around the Communist Party and Xi in which he is riding the wave of the past towards the future," Geremie R. Barmé, a New Zealand-based historian of China told the New York Times. "It is not really a resolution about past history, but a resolution about future leadership."

Yang Yang, a professor at the School of Political Science and Public Administration under the China University of Political Science and Law, told The Associated Press that the resolution will "emphasize a new era for the governance of the Communist Party under Xi's leadership."

That will "lay a foundation for Xi to match Mao and Deng and lay a foundation for Xi to continue to govern for the next term," Yang added.

It comes as Xi has worked this year to further cement his authority, requiring that "Xi Jinping Thought" is part of the country's school curriculum.

The country's Ministry of Education (MOE) said in guidelines published in August that the political ideology of Xi will help "teenagers establish Marxist beliefs." It seeks "to cultivate the builders and successors of socialism with an all-round moral, intellectual, physical and aesthetic grounding," the ministry said.

Separately, during a speech in July to mark the party's centenary, Xi pledged to uphold his own "core" leadership.

"We now march in confident strides toward the second 100-year goal of building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects," he said at the time.

U.S. President Joe Biden and Xi are expected to hold a virtual meeting by the end of the year, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan has said.

China's Xi Jinping at the BRICS Summit
Chinese President Xi Jinping speeches during the BRICS Summit in Brasilia, Brazil, November 14, 2019. Xi is expected to lay out his vision for the country's future during a closed-door, four-day meeting of the ruling Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) central committee in Beijing this week. Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images/Getty Images