A window of a shop selling souvenirs bearing the pictures of China’s President Xi Jinping and former leaders in Beijing. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
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The ruling party's declaration that Xi is the "core" of its leadership saw some observers argue it heralded the beginnings of a personality cult, smacking of the adulation that once surrounded Communist China's founding father, who ruled for three decades.A picture of the leader in a somber Western suit dominated the front pages of the country's major papers Friday, and China's national broadcaster showed footage of Xi's lectures during the meeting on a near-continuous loop.The document that declared Xi's primacy also emphasized the importance of collective leadership and warned against the deification of the party's chiefs.The concept of a "core" leader was first put forward by China's former leader Deng Xiaoping in 1989, shortly after nationwide democracy protests turned into the bloody Tiananmen Square crackdown.Regional cadres began using the term "core" for Xi last December, but it then disappeared, suggesting that the Chinese president had encountered resistance to his efforts to further consolidate his power.Not all are convinced Xi will use his new-found authority for good.Lam believes that Xi will try to remain in power beyond the two five-year terms allowed to the national president by law.
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