Top Chinese Communist Party members pass historic resolution

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President Xi Jinping is widely seen as the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong (AFP/Noel Celis)
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Top Communist Party leaders wrapped up a key meeting in Beijing by passing an important resolution on the party's past, state media said Thursday, which is expected to cement President Xi Jinping's legacy in Chinese history books.

Xi, the uncontested leader of the world's most populous nation, has been heading a pivotal plenary of the ruling party's top figures since Monday in the Chinese capital.

Some 400 members of the powerful Central Committee passed China's resolution on "Major Achievements and Historical Experience of the Party's Centennial Struggle", the third ever such resolution in its 100-year history.

The lengthy report called for upholding "the correct view of party history", said official news agency Xinhua, adding that the party has "written the most magnificent epic in the history of the Chinese nation for thousands of years".

"The Party Central Committee called on the entire party, the entire army and people of all ethnic groups to unite more closely around the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core, to fully implement Xi Jinping’s new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics," the document read.

This year's plenum paves the way for the 20th party congress next autumn, at which Xi is widely expected to be handed a third term in office, securing his position as China's most powerful leader since Mao Zedong.

Analysts say the resolution will help Xi shore up his grip on power by setting in stone his vision for China ahead of next year's congress.

Xi's tenure has been marked by a sprawling anti-corruption crackdown, repressive policies in regions like Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong, and an increasingly assertive approach to foreign relations.

He has also created a leadership cult that has quashed criticism, stamped out rivals and introduced his own political theory -- dubbed "Xi Jinping Thought" -- to school students.

Xinhua this week described Xi as "undoubtedly the core figure in charting the course of history".

Like all meetings of China's secretive top leadership, the four-day plenary has been held behind closed doors.

The event comes alongside a flurry of international diplomatic activity.

Beijing and Washington announced a surprise climate pact at the COP26 summit on Wednesday -- in contrast to their recent sparring -- and Xi and US President Joe Biden are expected to hold a video conference in the near future.

However, Xi also warned Thursday against a return to "Cold War-era" divisions in the Asia-Pacific region during a speech on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, with ongoing tensions over Taiwan.

"Attempts to draw ideological lines or form small circles on geopolitical grounds are bound to fail," he told a virtual business conference in thinly veiled comments aimed at the United States.

Beijing also hit out this week at a visit by US lawmakers to self-ruled Taiwan, which China views as its territory.

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