Jun Mai – ‘Absolute loyalty’: China’s Xi Jinping tells Politburo to toe party line ‘under all circumstances’


Jun Mai writes in South China Morning Post that Chinese president urges top leaders to ‘form a harmony in the symphony’ during two-day self-criticism sessionHe also calls on officials to remember that ‘local interests are subordinate to national interests’

President Xi Jinping called on top leaders of his inner circle to adhere to the Communist Party’s instructions “under all circumstances” during a two-day Politburo session that concluded on Tuesday.

“Under all circumstances, we should resolutely toe the party’s line and form a harmony in the symphony conducted by the party,” Xi said, according to state news agency Xinhua. “[We] must never deviate from the notes.”

He added that all officials must uphold “absolute loyalty” to the party and genuinely “love the party” and have concern for it at every moment.

Xi’s remarks were made during a “democratic life meeting”– often described as a self-criticism session – of the 24-member Politburo, the party’s decision-making body, according to Xinhua.

At the session, each member of the Politburo took turns speaking and assessing their compliance with the party’s rules on upholding “concentrated leadership” and clean politics, Xinhua said.

Xi commented on each member’s remarks and gave clear instructions for them to follow, the report added.

The session, held around the same time each year, was the first by the new Politburo formed at the 20th party congress in October.

At the twice-a-decade congress, Xi secured a groundbreaking third term as the party’s leader and managed to fill the new Politburo with a mixture of his proteges and loyal technocrats.

The party congress kicked off a leadership reshuffle that is likely to continue until March, with the expected replacement of the premier and other key government jobs.

The transition comes amid China’s sudden U-turn from its Covid-19 policy, which has put its thinly stretched medical resources under strain, as well as placing intense downward pressure on the economy.

Footage from state broadcaster CCTV showed that all Politburo members from outside Beijing convened for the meeting. All attendees wore masks even when speaking, with the exception of Xi.

At the session, Xi called on officials to always bear in mind the bigger picture of the country’s interests and uphold the idea that “local interests are subordinate to national interests”.

Xi also urged them to create conditions to allow grass roots officials to speak the truth about the situation on the ground.

Politburo members said they would continue to gain a deeper understanding of the 20th party congress and the “Two Establishes” – a concept that boils down to loyalty to Xi.

The term refers to establishing Xi’s status as the party’s “unquestionable core leader” and establishing his political doctrine as the “guiding principles for a new era”.


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