TOM PHILIPS | MAY 4 2016 | THE GUARDIAN
Since coming to power Xi has amassed an unusual plethora of official titles including general secretary of the Communist party, president of the People’s Republic of China, chairman of the central military commission, leader of the national security commission and head of the leading group for overall reform.
One academic has dubbed him the “chairman of everything”.
Roderick MacFarquhar, a Harvard University expert in elite Communist party politics, said: “Xi Jinping’s donning of uniform and giving him his new military title is a warning to his colleagues that he has the army behind him. Whether he actually has or not, one doesn’t know. But that is his bulwark, as it was Mao’s.”
However, MacFarquhar said the new title could be a sign of weakness rather than strength, noting that not even Mao Zedong had accumulated such a glut of titles. “Chairman Mao never needed titles. Everyone knew who was in charge,” he said.
Xi has made a high-profile anti-corruption campaign one of his administration’s…CONTINUE READING