President Xi Jingping begins third term, new group of leaders is announced

10/24/22 by Meg Richards

On Saturday, the Communist Party Congress of China, which meets every five years, determined the leadership team that will be moving forward with Xi Jinping as he enters his third term.

A new term for Xi marks an expansion of power and control for the leader, who has been in office since 2013. A lineup of prominent leaders in the Communist Party was announced on Sunday.

His group of loyalists will have more extensive power over the economy. According to Victor Shih, an expert on elite Chinese politics at the University of California San Diego, the power this group holds raises concerns about China’s future in policymaking.

“The people who are close to him are those who, over the years, have honed the skills of always agreeing and supporting Xi Jinping’s opinion,” Shih said.

The consolidation of unchecked power could potentially make for a tumultuous third – and possibly, fourth – term, according to a CNN interview with Yang Zhang, assistant professor at American University’s School of International Service.

Xi’s third term commencing is historic for the country, where a leader has not held office for more than two terms since Mao Zedong, also known as Chairman Mao. The two-term limit was removed in 2018, a policy that had been in place since 1980, four years after Mao’s rule ended.