The Director's Blog

The Implications of the October CCP Meeting 

In October 2022 the Chinese Communist Party held the first Plenum of its 20th Central Committee. The Economist commented that as a result “Xi Jinping is the most powerful person in the world.” Stratfor summarised the meeting this way: “Chinese leader Xi Jinping secured a new term and a thoroughly loyal cabinet, which will enable him to carry out his nationalist policy agenda over the next five-to-ten years. Xi will remain the leader of the CCP for the next five years after gaining another term as General Secretary. Xi still has no designated successor. At 69 years old, Xi is also advanced in age. But he is increasingly the exception to Party leadership rules, as shown by his ability to secure an unprecedented third term at the CCP's helm. Xi appears likely to take a fourth term in 2027.”

What will this mean for the next five to ten years? Four years ago Elizabeth Economy summarised Xi’s policy direction in three ways, all of which help us to understand the direction in which China will be going. 

 1. “Xi has moved away from Deng’s consensus-based decision-making and has consolidated institutional power in his own hands.” Following the disaster of the Cultural Revolution under the sole leadership of Chairman Mao, it was mandated that no one man would ever again hold total power in China. That was very much Deng Xiaoping’s desire. Xi has totally reversed that policy. “The amendments to the Party constitution include pledges to uphold the ‘Two Establishments’ and ‘Two Safeguards’, Party jargon that declares Xi as the core leader of the Chinese Communist Party and deems 'Xi Jinping Thought' as the foundation of governing China in this new era." Xi is in effect chairman of everything. The man most likely to succeed Li Keqiang as Premier, Li Qiang, was the Shanghai Party Secretary and has no experience with central government duties. His rise to power may be based on his loyalty to Xi in his quite ruthless implementation of Xi’s zero-Covid policy in Shanghai earlier this year. “The entire seven-person Politburo Standing Committee (PBSC), effectively Xi's cabinet, is now composed of loyalists who either owe their careers to Xi's patronage or whose views align with his policy agenda.”

2. “Xi has driven the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) more deeply into Chinese political, social, and economic life, while constraining the influence of foreign ideas and economic competition.” There is in effect a return to the thinking of the late chairman Mao in the famous analogy of the cat. Does the cat need to be pure red in colour, its colour being more important than its ability to catch mice (Chairman Mao)? Or is it relatively unimportant what colour of red the cat is, as long as it is good at catching mice (Deng Xiaoping)? “Beijing's regulatory scrutiny in tech, entertainment and beyond will grow as Xi attempts to mould the economy to best achieve his views for China's 'national rejuvenation’”.

3. Xi has abandoned Deng’s low-profile foreign policy in favour of one that is ambitious and expansive. “Chinese foreign policy has been transformed in recent years. China is poised to become a true global power. These trends demonstrate an unprecedented level of confidence. This is a significant change from the Chinese foreign policy defined by Deng Xiaoping as ‘Lay low, never take the lead, and bide our time.’” China wants to lead the world. The next five years will show numerous ways in which Xi aims to do so. 

My China loving friends are rightly proud at China’s amazing rise to power. But, if I may, I need to ask them a question - are these trends good for the ordinary Chinese citizen in the street and on the farm, or just for the CCP?

Pray for Xi Jinping and his politburo colleagues.

Pray that there will be voices heard that speak about the problems the ordinary man and woman in China faces.

Pray for the church in China which will face stormy waters in the next five years.


Search the Archives

China and Europe


Chinese Missionaries to Europe?

Rags To Riches In China

China and The Private Automobile

5 China-Related Matters to Watch in 2024

God Speaks Tibetan!

A Chinese House Church Testimony

The DNA of the church in China

Why Was Qin Gang Removed?

China’s ‘Sinicization’ Of Religion

Three Pastors Who Lost Their Jobs

Is Lu ShaYe A Lone Wolf Or Leader Of The Pack?

Li Qiang, China’s New Premier

Chinese Spiritual Civilisation

Population and Pensions in China

Jiang Zemin

China’s Zero-Covid Policy

The Implications of the October CCP Meeting

One Chinese Certainty and One Chinese Uncertainty

China’s New School Textbooks

Three Recent Trends in the Chinese Church

More Not Less For China

Elon Musk Versus Gordon Chang

Changes Taking Place in Shanghai

China, Russia and Ukraine

What Is “Tang Ping”?

Covid And Christianity In China. A Strange Parallel.

China’s New Laws Governing Religion

Covid and the Chinese Winter Olympics

China’s New International Vision

“Common Prosperity” (共同富裕)

Afghanistan and China

Mainland Chinese Studying Overseas

The 3 Phases Of The Modern Church In China

The Chinese Church and Heresies

China’s Falling Birth Rate

China and Poverty

China’s Economic Paradox

The Value of a Life

New Religious Laws Proposed in China

A New Year and A New Day In China Ministry

China’s Relationship With India

Text Book Lies

Confucius Institutes (CIs)

Chinese Students in the West

“Rich State, Poor People.”

A Son Missing For 32 Years.

Churches Under Lockdown In China.

The Wrong Topic

What Is The Lord Saying To The Chinese Church?

Drones And Prayers

Journalism, East and West

Standing In The Gap In 2020

A Dark Shadow Over China’s Students And Teachers

China: Education and AI

What Kind Of Cat Does China Need? 

5 Needs of the Chinese Church Today.

China’s Population: A hidden crisis.

Trade Wars

The Chinese Union Bible

Important Anniversaries In China

China’s Social Credit System

Co-opt and Control or Remove

Arrests in China

China's new status in the world. 

A new weapon for China. 

China’s plan to 'sinicize' religions. 

Two Huge Events for the Church in China. 

Religious freedom in China? 

Two Chinese Christians Murdered in Pakistan 

One Belt one Road