Xi Jinping’s epic power grab

Beijing, March 4 (IANS) The National People’s Congress, which starts this weekend, will be the symbolic culmination of Xi Jinping’s epic power grab, the media reported.
China’s leader has overhauled the Communist Party placing himself at the core and nobody else has even a remote chance of challenging him, BBC reported.
The starkest representation of this will be in the shift in personnel to be announced at the annual political meeting, a rubber-stamp session of nearly 3,000 delegates, BBC reported.
Take the role of the premier, the person managing the world’s second-largest economy and, in theory, second only to Xi in the power structure.
Outgoing premier Li Keqiang will take centre stage on day one. Then, at the end, a new premier, almost certainly Li Qiang, will occupy the limelight.
They’re two very different people, especially in terms of their loyalty to Xi, who started an upheaval a decade ago with his anti-corruption crackdown, cutting a swathe through the ranks of rival party factions, BBC reported.
At last October’s Communist Party Congress, new appointments to the seven-man Politburo Standing Committee meant the most powerful group in the country now had only Xi loyalists.
At this gathering, it is the heads of various departments and ministerial positions which will be replaced. They are all expected to fall into the same camp.
“On the one hand this might mean Xi can really get things done with his new leadership but, on the other, there is a danger of him being stuck in an echo chamber,” an experienced business figure told the BBC.
If Li Qiang is indeed the new premier, sitting up there on the last day of the NPC, taking screened questions at the annual press event, it will have been a meteoric rise for him.

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