Xi Jinping 3.0

People stand in front of images of Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Museum of the Communist Party of China in Beijing. (Photo by NOEL CELIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Chinese President Xi Jinping has spent the past decade steamrolling internal opposition and increasing his control over China. The 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, a week-long affair that begins Sunday, will make Xi’s consolidation of power official by renewing his positions as leader of the Chinese Communist Party and commander of the Chinese military. Next March, Xi will also get his third term as president, a largely honorific distinction.

“The expectation is, he won’t just be heading China for the next five years, he will probably be heading China for life,” said Ian Johnson, a China expert with the Council on Foreign Relations. “He is really the most powerful Chinese leader in decades.”

What is the party congress?

Every five years, the CCP hosts a meeting to appoint senior officials—including the country’s paramount leader—and lay out a broad policy agenda.

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