History was made in China after it was confirmed that President Xi Jinping will remain in power – breaking with a decades-old precedent that limits the terms of Chinese leaders.

having ruled China for 10 years already, he will now stay for at least another five-year term – and he could, in theory, become a leader for life.

The break with tradition has made him China’s most powerful leader since Chairman Mao and his vision has become increasingly indisputable.

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The former Chinese president escorted

The confirmation came at the end of the Week-long 20th Chinese Communist Party Congress.

This is an event every five years whose main objective is to select the people who will occupy the most senior management positions over the next five years.

This includes the two groups considered the pinnacle of political power in China – the 25-person Politburo and the Politburo Standing Committee which is currently made up of seven people, including the president.

The new standing committee was revealed as President Xi led them on stage in rank order. His leadership of the motorcade served as confirmation that he will remain as the party’s general secretary. His official confirmation as president will take place in March.

The two-term limit for Chinese presidents was introduced in the early 1980s following the death of Chairman Mao.

Mao’s nearly 30-year rule caused great chaos, violence and instability in China – and the idea was to shift to a “collective leadership” model and ensure that power could no longer never be so centralized in the hands of one person.

But in 2018, President Xi succeeded in removing the two-term limit from the constitution – paving the way for the consolidation of his power as we saw this weekend.

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Xi Jinping set to tighten his grip on China

Other constitutional amendments were made this week to further emphasize President Xi’s “essential” status at the center of the Party.

Changes to the Politburo Standing Committee also suggest that it has become increasingly indisputable.

Two personalities in particular, Li Keqiang and Wang Yang, stand out for their demotion from the standing committee. Both are young enough to serve another term and would be more supportive of reform, but neither is seen as a strong supporter of President Xi.

Along with two more retirements, there were four new faces in the lead team. All four are men considered part of Mr. Xi’s inner circle. All worked closely with him at various times in his career and are probably considered highly reliable.

It depicts Mr. Xi stuffing the standing committee with his close allies and seems to offer little like an olive branch to the other wings of the party.

There was also no obvious successor in the list of standing committees. A designated successor is usually anyone on that team who is young enough to serve one term pending and two terms as leader before the retirement age of 68, but there was no one of that age.

This indicates that Mr. Xi may indeed intend to stay for another 10 years or more.

His consolidated position matters a lot in China and around the world, because it means his vision for the country is here to stay.

Under his leadership, China grew richer and stronger. His ultra-nationalist vision made him more assertive on the foreign stage and unabashed about his ascendancy.

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Uyghurs living in exile speak out

But in his ten years in power, President Xi has also centralized much of the power within the state and party under his control. He purged his rivals and stifled dissent.

People in China are increasingly surveilled and censored, while journalists, lawyers and civil society groups have been largely silenced.

In his address, he spoke of his ambition for a “great rejuvenation” of China but repeatedly referred to a “dangerous storm” and “rough waters” ahead which may worry some international observers.

Experts say it would now take a political earthquake to reverse him, which is looking increasingly unlikely.

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