China's Communist Party hails President Xi as 'helmsman'

President Xi Jinping was hailed a "helmsman" and "people's leader" by Communist Party officials on Friday (November 12).

A show of support for his continuing leadership.

And a style of language used over 50 years ago during a personality cult of Mao Zedong, who led the party to power in 1949.

Following a four-day, closed-door meeting known as the Sixth Plenum, the party passed a "historical resolution" highlighting its achievements under Xi and amplifying his authority.

The full text has not yet been released.

At the session, the party contemplated its achievements in the century since its founding.

Its conclusion? That is must rally around Xi more closely, according to a communique released on Thursday (November 11).

"The Party Central Committee calls on the entire party, the entire army and the people of all ethnics in the country to unite more closely around the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core, and fully implement Xi Jinping's Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era."

The statement did not mention the darker moments of the party's past.

Those include the Great Leap Forward - Mao's ambitious drive to increase grain yields which began in 1958.

It went wrong. Millions of people starved to death.

But a party official did mention the campaign at Friday's press conference to explain why the country must not overreach when trying to solve today's problems of climate change and income inequality.

China's GDP per capita is not yet at the level of high-income countries.

A yawning wealth gap threatens its economic ascent and the legitimacy of Communist Party rule.

President Xi is almost certain to secure an unprecedented third term as party leader next year.

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