There is nothing much left for President Xi Jinping to aspire for insofar as his relationship with the Constitution of the Chinese Communist Party is concerned. The 20th Congress has idolised Xi as the country’s greatest ever core leader and followed it up by amending the constitution to make it obligatory for all Chinese people to recognise Xi as China’s core hero.
The party resolution during the recently concluded Congress which gave Xi a third term in office explains the rationale for the munificent gesture. It says: “Comrade Xi Jinping has put forward a series of new ideas, new thinking, and new strategies on national defense, the armed forces, the united front, and foreign affairs.”
The party is convinced that these ideas are good enough for the party constitution to include all such ideas dear to the party boss. “It agrees to include in the Party Constitution statements on enhancing political loyalty in the military, strengthening the military through reform, science and technology, and personnel training, and running the military in accordance with the law; elevating the people’s armed forces to world-class standards; fully, faithfully, and resolutely implementing the policy of One Country, Two Systems; resolutely opposing and deterring separatists seeking “Taiwan independence”…”
The Congress notes that in view of the “successful experience gained in Party work and Party building since the 19th Party Congress and in compliance with the revisions to the General Program”, appropriate revisions to some articles of the Party Constitution are necessary.
These revisions take the form of “obligations” of party members, loosely translated to include all citizens. “The following are now included into the obligations of all Party members: study the history of the Party; strengthen consciousness of the need to maintain political integrity, think in big-picture terms, follow the leadership core, and keep in alignment with the central Party leadership; stay confident in the path, theory, system, and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics; and uphold Comrade Xi Jinping’s core position on the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole and uphold the Central Committee’s authority and its centralized, unified leadership.”
In its zeal to enforce its policies on the country, the Party Congress decides to “steer social transformation” in the country, a euphemism for ensuring that the party shall dictate even the people’s thoughts about party loyalty and ideology.
“It also agrees to add statements on improving the capacity for political judgment, thinking, and implementation and becoming more self-motivated and resolute in implementing the Party’s theories, lines, principles, and policies; on advancing the adaption of Marxism to the Chinese context and the needs of our times; on the Party’s self-reform being a journey to which there is no end; on constantly improving the system of Party regulations; on strengthening the principal and oversight responsibilities for full and rigorous Party self-governance.”
The amendments to the Constitution also dictate to the party members and the people at large the how to conduct themselves as model citizens in Chinese society. “…on making integrated efforts to ensure that officials do not have the audacity, opportunity, or desire to become corrupt; and on adhering to the Party’s organizational line for the new era as a new fundamental requirement for Party building.”
Along with Xi, the CCP too has advanced its stature in the 20th Party Congress, allowing itself to be called the “core leadership” of the country.
“The Congress notes that the Communist Party of China is the leadership core in advancing our cause and that the leadership of the Communist Party of China offers a fundamental guarantee for achieving the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. The Congress agrees to add to the Party Constitution statements on the Party being the highest force for political leadership and on upholding and strengthening the overall leadership of the Party. These additions will help the Party fulfill its core role of exercising overall leadership and coordinating the efforts of all sides and will help ensure that Party leadership is exercised in all aspects and every stage of the endeavors of the Party and the country.”
The Party resolution keeps reiterating about upholding Xi Jinping’s super core status. “These revisions will help all Party members uphold and strengthen the Central Committee’s centralized, unified leadership and enhance cohesion and forge the Party’s soul with Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. They will also help enhance the political and organizational functions of Party organizations, take strict steps to improve Party conduct and tighten Party discipline, and ensure full and rigorous self-governance of the Party.”
In fact, the resolution admits that elevating Xi to the highest pedestal in China is perhaps the sole purpose of the latest Congress. “Establishing Comrade Xi Jinping’s core position on the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole and establishing the guiding role of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era has enabled the Party to successfully resolve the acute problems and challenges undermining its long-term governance, the security and stability of the country, and the wellbeing of the people, to remove serious hidden dangers in the Party, the country, and the military, and to ultimately set the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on an irreversible historical course. The establishment of both Comrade Xi Jinping’s core position on the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole and the guiding role of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era represents a major political achievement for the Party in the new era and a decisive factor in the historic successes and changes in the cause of the Party and the country.”
The resolution makes it clear that the people of China have no greater loyalty to the party than to follow whatever Xi Jinping says and insists that they literally have nothing else to look up to than the Party. “All Party members must acquire a deep understanding of the decisive significance of this major achievement, more conscientiously uphold Comrade Xi Jinping’s core position on the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole and uphold the Central Committee’s authority and its centralized, unified leadership, fully implement Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and closely follow the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core in thinking, political stance, and action.”