UPDATED: Xi Thought Enters The Party Constitution; Wang Qishan Will Not Be On 19th PBSC

Apologies for the resend but I had an important typo in the original. Li Yuanchao did NOT make the new Central Committee //End Update

The 19th Party Congress concluded by confirming Xi Jinping as the most powerful Chinese leader in decades. As expected, the Party Congress wrote thought “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era 习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想” into the Party Constitution as a guide to action 行动指南.

Xinhua gives us the details in CPC Constitution enshrines Xi's thought as part of action guide:

An amendment to the Constitution of the Communist Party of China (CPC) was approved Tuesday, making Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era a new component of the Party's guide for action, according to a resolution of the 19th CPC National Congress.

Unanimously agreed by Party delegates, the amendment juxtaposed Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era along with Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, and the Scientific Outlook on Development….

The resolution hailed the new thought as "an important component of the theoretical system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and a guide to action for the entire Party and all the Chinese people to strive for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation."



A Xinhua commentary declares Xi Thought is China’s new “signature ideology” and triumphantly celebrates the close of the Party Congress-Milestone congress points to new era for China, the world:

The curtains are falling at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, but China is rising like it never has before….

The genesis of China's development miracle is socialism, not other "-isms." The country succeeds not by rigidly copying the original ideas of scientific socialism, but by adapting it to China's reality. Xi Jinping's thought will be China's signature ideology and the new communism.

The China approach has been successful, both politically and economically, and will continue to serve the country's future well. Despite the suspicion and attacks it has drawn, it has benefited the rest of the world in commerce, trade, investment and international peace.

Those expecting China to fall will be disappointed. Fingerpointing and questioning the legitimacy of the Chinese way are of no avail. It is time to understand China's path, because it appears it will continue to triumph.

The Congress also approved the 19th Party Congress Central Committee (list of full members, list of alternate members, both in Chinese) and Central Discipline and Inspection Commission (list of members, in Chinese). Wang Qishan is not on the new Central Committee so will not be on the new Politburo Standing Committee (PBSC). Zhao Leji looks to be the head of the CCDI, and likely PBSC member. It is interesting that 65 year-old Li Yuanchao did not make the new Central Committee.

The inclusion of Xi Thought in the Party Constitution as a “guide to action”,  a “guiding ideology” and with Xi’s name attached after only one term as General Secretary is a huge break from Party norms over the last several decades.

This theoretical amendment makes the composition of the new standing committee less interesting now than it was a day ago. It still is very important, but the inclusion of Xi Thought is far more significant and effectively means that the rest of the people on the Standing Committee work for Xi. As I told The Guardian “It means Xi is effectively unassailable … If you challenge Xi, you are challenging the party – and you never want to be against the party.”

Chris Buckley at the New York Times reported the same likely PBSC list as The South China Morning Post—Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu, Han Zheng, Wang Yang, Wang Huning, Zhao Leji. Some will see this lineup, especially since it does not include Wang Qishan, as some sort of compromise team that Xi was forced to accept because of pressure from other “factions”.  That in my view would be an incorrect conclusion.

I see this rumored group as a mix of allies and political dead-enders (readers may have noticed the hint yesterday in my comment about potted plants…) that Xi will absolutely dominate. The enshrinement signals that it is Xi’s Party and makes the question of succession while Xi is alive a moot issue. So long as Xi has not yet met Marx he is the man with an eponymous theory in the Party Constitution, which means no other official will have more authority than he does, regardless of whether Xi is Party Chairman, General Secretary, Central Military Commission Chairman or head of the China Go Association.

It is worth remembering that the above list is not official. We will meet the new team at 11.45 AM Beijing time on Wednesday.

The absence of Wang Qishan may or may not indicate Guo Wengui’s attacks were successful. It is far too premature to conclude either way, though that will certainly not stop people from speculating…

There were other important amendments to the Party Constitution beyond the addition of Xi Thought. This Xinhua article summarizes some-CPC Constitution enshrines Xi's thought as part of action guide:

According to the resolution, a wide range of new ideas, thinking and strategies put forward by the CPC Central Committee with Xi at the core have been added into the Constitution, such as giving play to the decisive role of market forces in resource allocation, advancing supply-side structural reform and enhancing the country's cultural soft power.

Congress delegates also agreed to write the culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics into the CPC Constitution, along with the path, theory and system of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

In addition, the amendment included an assessment of the change in the "principal contradiction" facing Chinese society, which serves as an important basis on which the CPC and China formulate major policies and long-term strategies.

The CPC said the contradiction facing Chinese society is "between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people's ever-growing needs for a better life".

This Xinhua piece reports on other amendments-CPC congress concludes, opening new chapter for new era:

The CPC also included Xi's military thinking and the Party's "absolute" leadership over the armed forces, as well as other statements including "following the principle of achieving shared growth through discussion and collaboration, and pursuing the Belt and Road Initiative" into its Constitution.

The Party must "make comprehensive efforts" to ensure that "the fight against corruption keeps going," according to the revised Constitution.

The revisions are all detailed in this official announcement of the amendments-中国共产党第十九次全国代表大会关于《中国共产党章程(修正案)》的决议. Expect follow up discussion of the changes over the next few issues.

And if you really want to go deep into the official statements, something I highly recommend, here is the Full text of Resolution of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China on the Report of the 18th Central Committee.

Now we can focus on how Xi Jinping will use all his power.