China’s ruling Communist Party wrapped up its 20th Party Congress on October 22. Xi Jinping, 69, will begin his third term as President, breaking the norm. The Party Congress also packed the new 24-person politburo and its powerful seven-person Standing Committee. The lineup is dominated by Xi’s loyalists— meaning he will face few dissenting views and no competition for at least the next five years.
Some commentators say China will enter the new era of “Maximum Xi,” valuing loyalty over ability. The lineup also shows Xi’s obsession with stability, including his zero-Covid policy, emphasis on the state sector, crackdown on key parts of the private economy, and emphasis on income redistribution.
Shanghai Party Secretary Li Qiang is expected to replace outgoing Premier Li Keqiang in March. Wang Yang, another key official lacking close ties to Xi, is also not included in the Standing Committee.