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The Two Super Powers That Only the “Core” Leader Has

At the Sixth Plenum of the 18th Communist Party Congress that ended on October 27, 2016, Xi Jinping was declared as a “core” leader. A netizen with the pen name Niu Lei posted an article to explain what makes the “core” leader different from other leaders. Niu Lei has previously posted many pro-Xi Jinping’s articles on the Internet.

Niu said that, in China’s politics, the “core” leader has two ultimate powers. One is to define the political rules for the Communist Party (mainly for the Party’s cadres, especially for those at the Provincial-Ministerial level or above). The other is to appoint (or remove) a successor.

As to defining the political rules, Niu pointed out that, in addition to passing the new disciplinary regulations for cadres, Xi can also modify hidden rules such as changing the “67 in, 68 retire” rule to “70 in, 71 retire” [Editor’s note: This refers to a current undocumented rule that an official who is age 67 or under can serve a new term as the Standing Committee Member of the Politburo while people of age 68 or above must retire. This rule would prevent Wang Qishan from serving another 5-year term at his position as he will be 69 when the 19th Communist Party Congress starts in late 2017. Changing it to “70 in, 71 retire” will pave the road for Wang to continue his work.]

“The Communist Party has many General Secretaries, but only the ‘core’ leader has the power to appoint (or remove) successors. Mao Zedong [during his reign] appointed {and removed} Liu Shaoqi, Lin Biao, Wang Hongwen, and Hua Guofeng. Deng Xiaoping appointed (and/or removed) Hu Yaobang, Zhao Ziyang, Jiang Zemin, and Hu Jintao. Xi, based on the heritage from Mao and Deng, spent four years to secure the ‘core’ leader position, which earned him the power to appoint (or remove) his successor.”

Source: DWNews, November 1, 2016.