Xi Jinping: The Unstoppable Force in Chinese Politics

Xi Jinping is poised to secure his second term as the President of China, after already securing leadership positions in the Communist Party and the military. Despite facing challenges and criticism over his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, Xi’s position is expected to remain secure at the National People’s Congress. The event is carefully orchestrated and will see an ally of Xi’s name as the new premier.

The public opinion of Xi may be low due to the strict COVID-19 policies implemented by his administration, but he maintains a strong position within the party. China is recovering from the pandemic, but the country is likely to experience low economic growth. However, Xi’s position is not in doubt, as he has surrounded himself with loyalists and eliminated rivals through last year’s Congress reshuffle. Li Qiang, a trusted ally of Xi’s, is set to be appointed as the new premier.

China’s Leadership Response to Recent Protests

The recent protests did not pose a threat to Xi’s leadership, as they actually gave him an opportunity to justify his actions, according to Christopher Johnson, CEO of China Strategies Group. Johnson argued that if abandoning the zero-Covid policy went well, Xi could say he listened to the people, but if it went poorly, he could blame the protesters and hostile foreign forces. Steve Tsang, director of the SOAS China Institute at the University of London, added that Xi could now use his response to the protests to showcase his leadership skills. Tsang suggested that Xi acted decisively by suppressing the protests that called for his resignation and the Chinese Communist Party’s stepping down. Meanwhile, Vivienne Shue, an emeritus professor at Oxford University, proposed that Chinese leaders should reflect on their failure to respond adequately to crises in recent years.

China’s NPC and CPPCC Meetings Amidst Tensions with the West

Delegates attending both the NPC and CPPCC will approve changes to personnel and discuss various topics such as economic recovery and enhancing sex education in schools, as per state media reports. The meetings provide an opportunity for participants to present their favored initiatives, but they have minimal influence over how China is governed. This year’s gathering is happening in the midst of strained relations with Western nations. A disagreement with the US over alleged surveillance balloons has compounded concerns over Beijing’s ambiguous stance on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Along with revealing China’s GDP target for the upcoming year, the outgoing Premier Li Keqiang is anticipated to declare an increase in military expenditures during his speech at Sunday’s opening ceremony.

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