Xi Jinping, China’s Paramount Leader, Secures a Historic Third Term in a Show of Dominance

President Xi Jinping secured a precedent-breaking third term on Sunday, confirming his status as China’s most powerful leader in decades.


President Xi Jinping secured a precedent-breaking third term on Sunday, confirming his status as China’s most powerful leader in decades.

  • China reshuffles its leadership every five years, and this year’s 20th party congress was a display of dominance for Xi Jinping. Rather than shuffle off the scene after 10 years in power like his predecessors, Xi made it clear all power in the world’s most populous country flows from him.
  • On Sunday, Xi unveiled the new members of the all-powerful seven-man Politburo Standing Committee. The new standing committee is stacked with Xi loyalists, a break from the tradition of balancing the different factions within the Chinese Communist Party.
  • In one striking moment at China’s highly-choreographed party congress, former Chinese President Hu Jintao was led off stage without explanation. Hu’s “somewhat ambiguous relationship” with Xi fueled speculation his removal was a show of power on Xi’s part.
  • The 69-year-old Xi rose through the ranks of the Chinese Communist Party before replacing President Hu Jintao as general secretary of the Community Party in 2012 and as president of China in 2013.


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • A POLITICO special report on the global fight for influence between the United States and China argued that “diplomacy is America’s biggest weakness,” using the loss of U.S. influence in Panama compared to China as a case study.
  • While much of the media coverage focused on what Xi said, The New York Times reported on what Xi didn’t say. Xi omitted two common slogans that downplay the risks of conflict and instead warned of “dangerous storms” approaching.
  • CNN reported on a rare public protest against Xi Jinping’s rule. A protestor unveiled a banner over a busy Beijing road calling for “Life not zero-Covid policy, freedom not martial-lawish lockdown, dignity not lies, reform not cultural revolution, votes not dictatorship, citizens not slaves.” While swiftly suppressed by police, the defiant display quickly went viral, even on government-censored social media.



  • North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un predicted Xi’s reappointment would lead to a “beautiful future” for China and North Korea, according to Fox News. Kim’s congratulations come as North Korea has become increasingly belligerent towards South Korea and Japan in recent months.
  • The Wall Street Journal chronicled Xi’s first decade in power in nine charts addressing the social, political, and economic changes China has undergone under his rule.
  • The New York Post noted that while Xi spoke on many domestic and foreign policy issues, he “gave no indication Beijing will change its “zero-COVID” strategy despite public frustration with repeated city closures that has boiled over into protests in Shanghai and other areas.” 


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© Dominic Moore, 2022