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China's communists add Xi Jinping alongside Mao Zedong in constitution

By Sara Shayanian
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China's communists add Xi Jinping alongside Mao Zedong in constitution
China's President Xi Jinping votes during the closing ceremony of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 24 (UPI) -- Delegates to the Communist Party of China's National Congress voted to put President Xi Jinping on the same standing as historic party leaders Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping.

All of the roughly 2,300 delegates attending the congress approved the amendment to its party constitution called "Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era." The report will be used as a guide to action for the party and adds Xi to a short list of party leaders, including Mao and Deng, who have received that honor. Party leaders also declared Jinping to be the "core" leader of the communists for an indefinite period of time, a term not used since Mao.

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The party's fierce support for Jinping, as indicated by the adoption of the amendment, could help him break the country's tradition of two-term presidencies in 2022, if he chooses to run for a third term in office.

Although the Chinese constitution requires a president serve a maximum of two terms in office, Xi has options for his political future. He could try to become the party's secretary general or become the first party chairman since Mao.

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The congress also revealed the list of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, where it was noted that anti-corruption chief Wang Qishan and Chinese Vice-President Li Yuanchao were both absent, signaling their retirement from the Politburo Standing Committee.

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