NIANMAO, China -- Chinesecompleted a remarkable power grab this week that could keep him in charge of China well beyond his new five-year term.
Even before thecongress came to a close this week, Xi had become one of China's most powerful modern leaders -- the so-called "chairman of everything." Xi broke with precedent by refusing to anoint a successor. Instead, he surrounded himself with six party loyalists, all of whom were too old to replace him.
Delegates also voted to elevate Xi to a status on par with the legendary founding father of Communist China, chairman Mao Zedong.
Xi's political thoughts, or ideology, will be enshrined in the constitution and taught in China's schools.
Chinese state media have relentlessly built Xi's image, while nearly every billboard in Beijing proclaims his new era of Chinese socialism.
To make sure everyone gets the message, the Communist Party has ratcheted up the propaganda machine. In a village that is a couple of hours outside of Beijing, the walls have been plastered with the history of the Communist Party.
A large screen has been set up to broadcast the party message, and loudspeakers have been reinstalled to tout China's economic progress. There's no mention of the government's crackdown on dissent.
During President Trump's visit next month, the two leaders are expected to discuss the contentious issues of North Korea and trade. Mr. Trump will be negotiating with a man who now has unilateral decision-making authority.
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