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Iran Press TV

In historic move, China puts Xi's name in constitution

Iran Press TV

Tue Oct 24, 2017 08:57AM

China's governing Communist Party has formally enshrined President Xi Jinping's eponymous ideology in the constitution, making him the only leader after founder of modern China Mao Zedong to receive that status.

At the closing of the Communist Party's week-long congress on Tuesday, which had gathered the country's ruling elite alongside rank and file, party members unanimously voted to enshrine Xi's name and ideology in the constitution.

"Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era" was put in the constitution as one of China's guiding principles.

Two other recent presidents, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, had had their ideologies enshrined in the constitution but not their names.

Xi vowed a bright future after the vote.

"The Chinese people and nation have a great and bright future ahead," he said. "Living in such a great era, we are all the more confident and proud, and also feel the heavy weight of responsibility upon us."

Xi's idea is to set China on the path to becoming a "great modern socialist country" by midcentury. This vision has at its core a ruling party that serves as the vanguard for everything from defending national security to providing moral guidance to the ordinary Chinese.

Xi set the target dates of 2021 – the 100th anniversary of the party's founding – and the People's Republic's centenary in 2049 – for the establishment of a prosperous, modern society.

China has the world's second-largest economy and legions of newly wealthy urban residents, but raising living standards for millions of people continues to be a challenge.

The constitution was also amended to include references to the party's "absolute" leadership over the armed forces, which have been modernizing rapidly under Xi, and a commitment to promote Xi's signature foreign policy and infrastructure initiative known as "One Belt, One Road."

That initiative seeks to link China to Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Africa, Europe and beyond with a sprawling network of roads, railways, ports, and other economic projects.

The placement of Xi's thought among the party's leading guidelines comes five years into his term.

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