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Xi's New Title Highlights China's Power Struggle

  • Wave of provincial party chiefs declare him 'core' leader
  • Semantic shift could give freer hand during next reshuffle
Xi Jinping, China's president.

Xi Jinping, China's president.

Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg
Updated on

A push to designate Xi Jinping as the "core" of China’s Communist Party suggests efforts to strengthen the president’s hand in a year of political maneuvering for top party posts.

At least seven provincial-level party bosses including the leaders of Jiangsu, Sichuan and Tianjin have in recent weeks publicly proclaimed Xi as the party’s core and pledged to uphold his leadership. The description, which would give Xi a status shared by three prior leaders including Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, wasn’t formally bestowed upon his predecessor, Hu Jintao.