16:35 GMT10 July 2020
Listen Live
    Asia & Pacific
    Get short URL

    Chinese lawmakers voted almost unanimously Sunday to endow the country's leader, Xi Jinping, with the power of life-long rule; Sputnik has attempted to determine how justified the move is. Here is a list of Xi’s accomplishments since 2012 – the year when he officially took office.

    Xi’s Purges and Flat No to Corruption

    For the communist country, the past five years have been a period of sweeping reforms and multiple challenges. For a start, Xi chose to transform the ruling party and introduce progressive measures for better inter-party discipline.

    READ MORE: Chinese Lawmakers Rule to Abolish Presidential Term Limit, Enshrine Xi's Ideas

    Having thus secured the country’s political unity, he embarked on an all-embracing anti-corruption campaign, which saw more than a million high- and low-level officials, as well as former officials, punished for their malfeasance.

    Under the ideology commonly referred to as the "Chinese Dream," coined back in 2012-2013, Xi outlined the sweeping reforms that China plans to implement through 2020, many of which are now under way.

    Technology Comes First

    The technological revolution, namely in the IT domain, is one of the landmarks of Xi’s first term. Now, despite being partly isolated from the global Internet, the Chinese are able to hail a cab, book tickets or even buy groceries via smartphones – which were still relatively unheard of before 2012.

    China to Overtake US in Environmental Race?

    He has also been praised for his hard line on environmental polluters and his pledge to eliminate extreme poverty in the country by 2020. For instance, back in 2012, the term that garnered special attention was "Ecological Civilization," (EC)  a phrase literally included in the Chinese Communist Party Constitution.

    Under the framework of Ecological Civilization, Xi claims to contribute in tackling climate change issues, as well as push for energy transformation and build up China’s renewable energy sector. Back then, Xi described the EC in the most romantic terms:  "green mountains and waters are golden and silver mountains and waters.”

    On top of that, as President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris Accord last year, President Xi Jinping, by contrast, staked out China’s ambition to be a committed player in tackling climate change. Critics then even started speculating on whether China would outpace the United States as the new world’s environmental leader.

    Second Largest Economy

    Under Xi Jinping, in 2015, China became the first-ever nation to have a GDP exceeding $20 trillion, having doubled its overall output in just six years.  As China has confidently secured its status as the second largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity according to the IMF, China's Renminbi also enjoys considerable growth and is undergoing internationalization. Separately, China masterminded the founding of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in 2015, whereas its most promising Shenzhen province has been dubbed  the world’s next Silicon Valley.

    READ MORE: 'Clean Up Gang Crime, Eliminate Evil': Behind Xi's New War on Corruption

    It is also worth noting the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road, or otherwise called the One Belt and One Road Initiative. This is China’s development strategy focused on cooperation between Eurasian countries, primarily China and the land-based Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB), as well as the ocean-going Maritime Silk Road (MSR). The strategy, first introduced by Xi Jinping in September 2013, signifies China's determination to take a larger role in global affairs with a China-centered trading network, which comprises a whopping over 68 countries.

    Also, China has been the world's largest manufacturing economy and exporter of goods since 2010 – the year when it officially overtook the US.

    Firm Stance in Foreign Policies

    Under Xi, China has taken a more critical stance on North Korea, while striving for a better relationship with South Korea, which it succeeds in. China-Japan relations have soured under Xi's administration, particularly due to the dispute over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands. In November 2013, following  Japan's firm stance on the issue, China declared an Air Defense Identification Zone.

    Separately, Xi has developed stronger ties with Russia, especially in the wake of the 2014 Ukrainian crisis, when Crimea reunified with Russia. In the meantime, despite the original vector on the strengthening of diplomacy with the US, the relationship soured following China’s massive hack and theft of 22 million records of the US Office of Personnel Management.

    High-Teck Military in Focus

    In the past years, the Chinese military has been undergoing a sweeping reform focused on boosting its combat capabilities, command and coordination efficiency. According to the official data, by the end of 2017, it was expected to reach 2 million troops. China has also invested a lot in technological modernization of all segments of the defense forces.

    Cultural Bonds

    To unite the masses culturally and perhaps to substitute a now less popular communist ideology,  Xi Jinping has gone on to rehabilitate ancient Chinese philosophical figures like Han Fei into the Chinese mainstream thinking alongside Confucianism, both of which Xi sees as crucially important.



    Trump: 'China Continues to Be Helpful'
    China Emerges as Artificial Intelligence Research Hub
    China to Launch Cutting-Edge X-Ray Observatory Satellite in 2025
    STRATCOM Commander Says US Submarines Can 'Decimate' Russia, China
    anti-corruption efforts, term, rule, presidency, ceremony, life, reforms, constitution, politics, economy, Xi Jinping, China, Japan, United States
    Community standardsDiscussion