China’s ruling Communist Party has endorsed a second five-year term for President Xi Jinping and amended its Constitution to add his name and ideology, elevating him on par with party founder Mao Zedong and his successor Deng Xiaoping. Xi’s concept of “socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era” was added to the party’s constitution as the world looked on to the developments in the second most powerful nation on Earth.
Around 2,300 delegates to the 19th Party Congress on Tuesday morning began deliberations to appoint a new Central Committee, which replaces the 18th Central Committee which formally disbanded on Oct 14. Xinhua – the official news agency of China released some of the names of the members of new Central Committee: Xi Jinping, Wang Huning, Liu Qibao, Xu Qiliang, Sun Chunlan, Li Keqiang, Wang Yang, Zhang Chunxian, Zhao Leji, Hu Chunhua, Li Zhanshu and Han Zheng.
The move comes after the nation held quinquennial Communist Party Congress to address possible changes in the nation’s leadership and direction. That considered the change and the political hullabaloo around Xi’s reelection points towards a rather intense albeit stable situation in China.
Xi’s reelection also creates a succinct shift in power and internal conflict of the Chinese government’s relation with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). PLA’s recent belligerence has imposed some diplomatic costs – a factor that will revolve around Xi’s power quotient in China as well as around the world.
The election stands to be crucially important for India. Both nations – with strong leadership and similar population sizes have a tendency to flare border skirmishes and bicker over trade and international relations. Now the point in consideration isn’t whether India would woo the Chinese president for better changes. The concern is how Xi Jinping curates China’s stance and behavior towards India.
That perhaps is something that the Indian diplomatic and military diaspora would be wondering. How would China mix its trade, its burgeoning international presence and its menacing army? The Doklam crisis gave us a picture on how future situations might play out between the two jostling countries. That said it also showcased the tensions between Xi’s rule and the PLA. This is because the PLA wants to flex its military muscles and Xi Jinping would want his stature to be akin to that of Mao Zedong’s.
One thing is for certain – India cannot grow lax in any of the avenues so as to give China leverage on the international relations, trade or military fronts. Regardless, old adages around bullies stand true in the context of these two countries. The dragon is not tame and would encroach upon all the facets around India’s integrity and growth.