The Wall Street Journal: China’s Xi hails ‘new era’ amid bid to consolidate power

BEIJING — Chinese President Xi Jinping is set to emerge from a Communist Party congress that starts Wednesday with all of the allies and authority he needs to monopolize decision making for the next five years.

The affirmation of Xi’s political supremacy suggests he will double down on a drive to reassert party control at home, and project power abroad, during a second term likely to be marked by a slowing economy and volatile foreign relations, especially over North Korea.

Read: 5 reasons why investors need to watch China’s National Party Congress

Beyond that looms the question: Will he step down come 2022? The twice-a-decade congress is expected to endorse Xi’s rise to a level of political control in modern China comparable only to Deng Xiaoping or Mao Zedong. Both remained dominant figures till death.

Xi, in a speech at the opening of the congress on Wednesday in Beijing, hailed the achievements of the last five years and called on party members to “secure a decisive victory” in building a modern, prosperous, socialist nation in the “new era.”

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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