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Xi Jinping's prolonged tenure could spell trouble for Chinese Communist Party's future: Experts

Ironically, in its 100th year, the Communist Party of China (CPC), as it is officially called, relies on Xi just as it depended on its founder leader and principled ideologue "Chairman" Mao Zedong, who held a vice-like grip on it until his death in 1976 after the party was established in 1921.

June 27, 2021 / 01:25 PM IST
Chinese President Xi Jinping during the National Day reception on the eve of the 71st anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, in Beijing, China on September 30, 2020 (Image: Reuters/Thomas Peter)

Chinese President Xi Jinping during the National Day reception on the eve of the 71st anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, in Beijing, China on September 30, 2020 (Image: Reuters/Thomas Peter)

As China’s ruling Communist Party is set to celebrate its centenary on July 1, experts warn that the potential of President Xi Jinping’s continuation in power, unlike his predecessors, could potentially be "very destabilising" for it in the future in the absence of a successor.

Ironically, in its 100th year, the Communist Party of China (CPC), as it is officially called, relies on Xi just as it depended on its founder leader and principled ideologue "Chairman" Mao Zedong, who held a vice-like grip on it until his death in 1976 after the party was established in 1921.

On the brink of collapse after his disastrous ideological experiments like the 1958 “Great Leap Forward”, mass mobilisation of labour to improve agricultural and industrial production but ended with a string of poor harvests resulting in famine, and the 1966 "Cultural Revolution", which resulted in the deaths of over 1.5 million people, the party was revived by moderate “paramount leader” Deng Xiaoping.

Deng, who won the bitter power struggle against the "Gang of Four" headed by Mao’s widow Jiang Qing and guided the party till 1997 had overturned Mao’s hardline Marxism, replacing it with a pragmatic ideology of “Socialism with Chinese Characteristics” and undoing the harm caused by Mao that helped China to unleash the potential of the world’s most populous country to emerge as the second-largest economy.