CPC enshrines Xi Jinping's political ideology in constitution

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During his first five-year term, Xi has been criticized for being slow to enact necessary reforms, bolstering underperforming state-owned enterprises and restricting the private sector.

This departure from tradition indicates vast party support for Xi and his strict leadership style; that support could be crucial as Xi eyes a potential third term as president, which would also break with the current two-term tradition.

China's announcement of a new Central Committee - a body of roughly 200 people - comes a day before the party unveils its top leaders on the Politburo and its supreme Standing Committee.

The new Standing Committee would be unveiled for China and the world tomorrow when they would formally appear in front of the media during a live telecast. This makes Xi the country's most powerful leader since Mao Zedong.

The number of delegates to the National Congress and the procedure governing their election shall be determined by the Central Committee.

The new seven-member committee may retain balance of power among various factions within the party though Xi may still remain powerful with the induction of some of his close associates into the Standing Committee, the reports said.

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The amendment, called "Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era", was approved by all 2,300 delegates attending the congress. Xi is now considered the most important party leader alive - above former presidents and his eventual successor. Another option is to revive the title of party chairman, a label that has not been used since Mao Zedong.

The fact that his philosophy has been enshrined into the party charter as a "thought" as opposed to a "theory" shows that he might be at the same level as Mao, who founded modern China, and above Deng, who opened its markets.

Xi's more recent predecessors, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, both had the party constitution amended to include their guiding thoughts, but without their names directly attached. Deng's name was added after his death in 1997.

"At this great time, we feel more self-confident and proud".

Hu Angang, director of the Center for China Studies at Tsinghua University in Beijing, said "a community with a shared future for mankind means a community of shared interests and development".

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