China's Communist Party on Friday stoutly defended President Xi Jinping's 'core' leader status that enables him to tighten grip on power, saying under him the ruling party will have an "anchor" and the nation a "backbone", even as it asserted that democracy was not an "exclusive patent" of the US and the West.
The Plenary meeting of the Communist Party of China, (CPC) which wrapped up its four-day meet on Thursday, adopted a landmark resolution to cement Xi's "core" status in the country's political history and cleared the decks for him to extend his rule for a record third term next year and perhaps beyond.
The resolution - the only third of its kind in the party's 100-year history after one issued under party founder Mao Zedong and his successor Deng Xiaoping - was reviewed and adopted at the sixth plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Committee attended by over 400 senior party officials.
Defending party's decision to enhance Xi's status as core leader, Jian Jinquan, Director of policy research of the CPC, told a press conference here that for a party with 95 million members and the country with 1.4 billion people, 'it will be unimaginable had there not been a core of the party'. It will result in a ôlack of cohesion and nothing can be accomplished,ö Jian said, a day after the Plenum.
"Only when there is the core of the party central committee, the whole party will have strength," he said.
Xi as "the core of the party, leader of the people and commander of the army is well deserved. This represents the prevailing aspiration of the people. His core leadership is call of the times, the choice of history and aspiration of the people. In his leadership, the party will have an anchor, the nation a backbone," Jian said.
The core status empowers Xi, 68, who will be completing his second five-year tenure next year, to continue for a third term and perhaps for life, unlike his predecessors.
Jian while eulogising Xi's leadership sought to project the CPC as democratic party, refuting criticism of its autocratic functioning.
He specially attacked US President Joe Biden's plan to hold a summit of democracies next month as Washington seeks to rally countries with democratic systems.
"Recently, the US has put together the so-called summit for democracies to revitalise the western democracy. To convene such a summit against the backdrop of loads of problems for the western democracies is such an irony. The intention is nothing but bashing other countries and dividing the world, which cannot be achieved," he said.
In an apparent attempt to project democratic credentials of the CPC, in a rare move Xi voted at a polling station here to elect deputies to a local people's congress on November 5.
"Democracy is not an exclusive patent of western countries and even less defined or dictated by western countries. Electoral democracy of the west is actually ruled by capital and it is the game of rich not real democracy. Democratic models of the world cannot be the same. Even the western forms of democracies are not entirely identical," Jian said.
Citing US opinion surveys which showed 95 per cent of support for the Chinese people, he said: "China's democracy is not only based on institutional procedures but also full of participation and practice".
"It is democracy of both process and outcome and both procedure and substance. It is both direct and indirect democracy. It is people's democracy in nature," he said.