China set to enshrine 'Xi Jinping Thought' in constitution

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BEIJING — The Chinese Communist Party plans to add President Xi Jinping’s governing philosophy to the nation’s constitution in a move that would further solidify his authority.

The charter’s preamble cites Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory and “the important thought of Three Represents” put forward by former President Jiang Zemin as the country’s guiding principles. The Politburo on Friday confirmed plans to add Xi’s “Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” as well as predecessor Hu Jintao’s “Scientific Outlook on Development” to the list.

Revising the constitution will be high on the agenda when the Politburo’s Central Committee meets next Thursday and Friday. The change is likely to be made official at the March meeting of the National People’s Congress.

Xi would be the first sitting leader since Mao to have his governing philosophy written into the constitution. Deng died before his “theory” was added, while the Three Represents were put in the year after Jiang left the presidency. Hu has been out of office for five years without his philosophy being included in the charter.

“Xi Jinping Thought” was only just unveiled at the twice-a-decade party congress in October. That it is being added to the national charter half a year later shows how quickly the president is moving to consolidate power.