Chinese President Xi Jinping appears to have successfully shored up his power base in Beijing since returning from the Communist party’s annual summer break and shows no sign of changing course on his major policy initiatives, according to the South China Morning Post.
The annual vacation for China’s top leaders in the northern beach resort of Beidaihe is traditionally viewed as a forum where key decisions are made. The Chinese government faces enormous challenges from a slowing economy and growing tensions with the West, and some analysts expected that some far-reaching policy changes could be announced after leaders returned to Beijing.
However, Xi has moved swiftly to project a sense that he is still firmly in control and that he is not planning to change course. In a meeting with top generals, he reportedly demanded absolute loyalty to the Communist party and promised deeper anti-corruption measures. In high-profile events to discuss the country’s policy regarding propaganda, law and order and the Belt and Road Initiative, Xi also signaled that no major change of direction will take place.
Steve Tsang, director of the SOAS China Institute, told the SCMP that Xi remains firmly in control and will likely strengthen his grip on the reins of power.
“When things get tough, some noises will be made, but it doesn’t change the basic equation of the power balance,” he said. “Xi is still very, very powerful. What I think we may be seeing is that because these kinds of noises are now being heard – and much sooner I think than Xi was expecting – he will probably do even more to tighten up his power.”