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In China, the planetary ambitions of Xi Jinping, seized with a feeling of omnipotence


It is a triumphant and worried Xi Jinping who will go to Moscow from March 20 to 22. Triumphant because the Chinese number one will arrive there crowned with a major success: the resumption of diplomatic relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, thanks to the mediation of Beijing. Further proof, according to China, that the world is better off when the “Global South” (the Global South, as opposed to Western countries) is taking matters into its own hands.

Then, because by choosing, as in 2013, Russia to make his first trip after being reappointed to the presidency of the People’s Republic of China, Xi recalls that “Sino-Russian relations are the most important bilateral relations in the world”, as he said ten years ago in Moscow. Another way of signifying the desired marginalization of the West.

Triumphant finally – and above all – because since his reappointment to the Chinese presidency on March 10, he has multiplied seemingly technical initiatives but which, overall, are transforming a good part of the institutions of his country, relieving the State on the one hand of its prerogatives for the benefit of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

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The reappointment of Xi Jinping, as general secretary of the CCP, at the head of the state was beyond doubt. Yet it was not self-evident. Authorized by a reform of the Constitution adopted in March 2018, this third term shattered all the rules of succession and plunged the country into the unknown.

Since his unanimous re-election by the 2,952 delegates of the National People’s Assembly, Xi Jinping has concentrated all the powers. First, by giving less importance to the ministers in charge of economic affairs. Two men, Li Xiaopeng, transport minister, and Yi Gang, the governor of the central bank, much appreciated by the markets, keep their positions but are no longer part of the central committee of the CCP and therefore see their influence reduced. Exactly like Liu Kun, Minister of Finance, who no longer sits on the dreaded Central Commission for Party Disciplinary Inspection.

On the other hand, He Lifeng, hitherto in charge of the National Development and Reform Commission, was promoted to Deputy Prime Minister, although he is already 68 years old (theoretical age limit of Chinese leaders). With his successor, Zheng Shanjie, it is he who will have the upper hand on the economy. These two men worked with Xi Jinping in Xiamen (Fujian province) from the end of the 1980s. They are followers of the first hour.

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