The new central leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) has been elected, as the Party of over 96 million members and the Chinese people it leads embark on a new journey in China's modernization drive.
Xi Jinping was unanimously elected general secretary of the 20th CPC Central Committee at the committee's first plenary session held on Sunday. He was also named chairman of the CPC Central Military Commission (CMC).
In April, Xi was elected by a unanimous vote as the delegate to the 20th CPC National Congress in the electoral unit of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, and on Saturday he was also unanimously elected a member of the new CPC Central Committee.
At the Sunday plenary session, Xi Jinping, Li Qiang, Zhao Leji, Wang Huning, Cai Qi, Ding Xuexiang and Li Xi were elected the members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.
Twenty-four members of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee were also elected at the session, which endorsed the members of the CPC Central Committee Secretariat nominated by the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee. The session named the members of the CMC.
The plenum approved the secretary, deputy secretaries and members of the Standing Committee of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) of the CPC elected at the first plenary session of the 20th CCDI.
The new central leadership was elected as the great transformation in the first decade of the new era since the 18th CPC National Congress marks "a milestone" in the history of the Party, of the People's Republic of China, of reform and opening up, of the development of socialism, and of the development of the Chinese nation.
Faced with a situation of unparalleled complexity and risks and challenges, Xi, with great vision, has led the whole Party, the entire military, and the Chinese people of all ethnic groups to meet obstacles and difficulties head on with firm confidence, winning their heartfelt support and love.
It is the expectation of our times to maintain the long-term stability of the core of the Party Central Committee and of the Party as a whole.
Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, and the other newly elected members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the 20th CPC Central Committee Li Qiang, Zhao Leji, Wang Huning, Cai Qi, Ding Xuexiang and Li Xi, meet the press at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 23, 2022. (Xinhua/Shen Hong)
Starting from early 2022, Xi began seeking advice from other members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau on how to deliberate and determine candidates for a new central leadership.
On March 24 this year, the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau held a meeting, presided over by Xi, and adopted a plan on the recommendation of candidates for the central leadership.
Among the principles of recommendation, it was stressed that the core position of the CPC leadership, and the Central Committee's authority and its centralized, unified leadership should be resolutely upheld. Candidates should be dedicated, impartial and upright.
The principles also placed emphasis on merit regardless of background, and on having both integrity and ability, with greater weight given to the former.
The CPC Central Committee held that candidates should have firm political faith and be loyal to the CPC, and keep a "high degree of conformity with the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi at the core."
In the summer of 2022, a provincial leader was summoned to Beijing for a talk in the Zhongnanhai leadership compound.
After studying the name lists of then incumbent leadership and ministerial/provincial leaders, this official had a one-on-one session with a senior leader about recommendations for candidates for the new leadership.
This is one example how one-on-one talks played a part in the recommendation of leadership candidates.
Starting from April, Xi personally talked to 30 senior leaders to seek their opinions. From April to July, other senior CPC leaders also sought advice from 318 senior cadres and senior military officers.
"There was no time limit on the conversation, nor was there a limit to the number of people recommended," said an official attending one-on-one talks. "We can recommend anyone whom we think is outstanding and competent ... We can be open and honest in our views."
Xi once stressed that political integrity must be upheld as the primary criterion when electing the CPC's new central leadership. "We should be strict with officials on their political consciousness and clean governance," Xi stressed.
Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, addresses the press at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 23, 2022. (Xinhua/Li Xueren)
Officials attending one-on-one sessions agreed that members of the new central leadership should have firm political beliefs and be loyal to the Party. The readiness to take on responsibilities, the courage to carry on the fight, and the ability to lead the modernization drive are all important considerations for many comrades when recommending candidates.
On the new central leadership's makeup principles and plan, Xi exchanged views and deliberated with other members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau.
After an initial plan was developed, Xi sought advice again from members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, members of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, and members of the CPC Central Committee Secretariat. The new central leadership's makeup plan was later proposed.
The recommended plans for the candidates of the new CCDI's Standing Committee and the members of the new CMC were also proposed to the CPC Central Committee after respective deliberation.
On Sept. 28, based on the suggestions, the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee studied and discussed the proposal on the makeup of the new central authority. One day later, the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee approved the proposal and decided to submit it to the first plenary sessions of the 20th CPC Central Committee and the 20th CCDI of the CPC.
During the candidate deliberation and opinion solicitation, some Party and state leaders, bearing in mind the interests of the Party and the people and showing a strong sense of responsibility, offered to retire to make room for their younger colleagues.
The Sunday election came after delegates to the 20th CPC National Congress on Saturday elected a new CPC Central Committee, with 205 members and 171 alternate members.
A new CCDI consisting of 133 members had also been elected at the congress.
Leading the other members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the 20th CPC Central Committee in meeting the press on Sunday, Xi urged the CPC members to remain on high alert and stay sober-minded and prudent in the face of new challenges and tests on the journey ahead.
We must make sure that our century-old Party will become ever more vigorous through self-reform and continue to be the strong backbone that the Chinese people can lean on at all times, he said.