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Monday, March 27, 2023

No Women Serve on China’s New Politburo Standing Committee under Xi Jinping

Xi Jinping clinches his third term as General Secretary

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Sadaf Hasan
Sadaf Hasan
Aspiring reporter covering trending topics

CHINA: For the first time in 25 years, China will not have a woman serving on the Politburo, marking a significant decline in gender representation as President Xi Jinping upended Communist Party leadership norms.

Sun Chunlan, 72, who had been the only woman in the Politburo before, resigned after reaching the retirement age of 68. After Chunlan’s resignation, no new woman was appointed to an all-male-dominated committee in China.

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China will be ruled for the next five years by a 24-member Politburo made up solely of men, as per a lineup announced on Sunday.

Reshuffle of Central Committee members

According to many reports, when Xi Jinping reshuffled the 205-member Central Committee, the 24-member Politburo, and the 7-member Standing Committee, he included the promotions of certain top officials.

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The 59-year-old vice premier of China, who was formerly considered a potential candidate for top leadership, is no longer viewed as a member of the influential Politburo committee. He had the support of former Chinese President Hu Jintao, who was abruptly ejected from the 20th Party Congress closing ceremony by staff members.

Chen Quanguo, the former party secretary of China’s westernmost Xinjiang region, was also expelled from the Politburo. He was sanctioned by the US as well as accused of violating human rights in the Xinjiang region against the Uyghur minority. 

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In the new lineup, there are no women, which was the situation during the 15th Party Congress in 1997. In addition, it was reduced from 25 to 24 members. The reshuffle of leadership comes shortly after the party concluded its twice-a-decade congress.

Xi’s newly elected member

Xi Jinping leads the newly elected members of the Politburo Standing Committee. Xi clinches his third term as General Secretary. Putin congratulated Xi and expressed interest in advancing the “comprehensive partnership” between their two nations.

”The outcomes of the Party Congress completely confirm your strong political authority and the cohesion of the party you lead,” Putin told Xi.

A report stated that Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea, also congratulated Xi in a letter. Xi, whose predecessor Hu Jintao was unceremoniously hauled out of the congress closing ceremony on Saturday, does not have a clear successor in the new Standing Committee lineup, which is to be expected.

Meanwhile, the 63-year-old Li Qiang’s rise to position two demonstrates the significance of ties to Xi.

Due to the city’s agonising two-month COVID-19 lockdown earlier this year, Li served as a lightning rod for some of the public ire that slipped through censors. Li, though, served as Xi’s chief of staff while Xi was the party leader in the province of Zhejiang, and the two have a long history together.

Ding Xuexiang, Xi’s secretary and gatekeeper, is another new member of the Standing Committee and is the youngest at 60 years old. Ding is the powerful General Office’s chief of the Party Central Committee, which oversees the top leadership’s administrative issues.

Cai Qi, 66, once Beijing’s party chief, joins the Standing Committee after 20 years of collaboration with Xi in the coastal provinces of Fujian and Zhejiang.

The fourth newcomer is Li Xi, the 66-year-old party chief of Guangdong province, an economic powerhouse. Experts believe Li Xi and Xi are philosophically similar, despite the fact that they do not have a shared history of collaboration as the other three do.

Yang Zhang, an assistant professor at the School of International Service at the American University in Washington, said that because of Xi’s complete control, his staff would be held entirely accountable for any policy errors.

Also Read: Xi Vows to Strengthen China’s Military and Reiterates COVID Stance as Party Congress Begins 


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