China rescues ‘helmsman’ title to refer to Xi Jinping

Beijing, Nov 12 (EFE).- A prominent official of China’s Communist Party declared the country’s President Xi Jinping the country’s helmsman Friday at a press conference, reviving a title traditionally reserved for founding leader Mao Zedong.

“The ship of rejuvenation of the Chinese nation has its helmsman,” Jiang Jinquan, director of the Investigation Office of the party’s Central Committee, told the media after the “Historic Resolution” approved Thursday reinforcing Xi’s leadership. “Thanks to Xi’s central position, the party has the decision-maker and the people have its foothold.”

After four days of meeting behind closed doors in Beijing, the more than 300 members of the party’s 19th Central Committee agreed Thursday to “resolutely maintain the central position of Comrade Xi Jinping” in the party.

Jiang said “Xi’s thinking on socialism with Chinese characteristics for the new era” would guide the party “in the right direction” despite “the complexity of the situation” given the “changes in the world unprecedented in a century.”

The title “helmsman” and references to “steering the wheel” were frequently used to refer to Mao during his tenure, particularly from 1966, when the Cultural Revolution began.

The term fell into disuse especially during the terms of Jiang Zemin (1993-2003) and Hu Jintao (2003-2013), who promoted a more collective leadership style, but used anew for Xi, who became president in March 2013. EFE


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