China Deepens Xi’s Powers With New Security Plan

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from The Wall Street Journal,

China’s Communist Party plans to establish a state security committee that has the potential to cement President Xi Jinping’s hold on the military, domestic security and foreign policy and help establish him as the country’s most individually powerful leader since Deng Xiaoping.

The move is another step toward granting Mr. Xi a level of authority that eluded his two predecessors and reverses the trend toward a collective leadership since Deng, who launched China’s market-oriented reforms in 1978 and commanded respect across the military and the government.

Following Deng’s death in 1997, China has been ruled by technocrats and attempts to set up a national-security body have been stymied, chiefly by military resistance, Chinese foreign-policy experts have said.

The plan for the security committee, which is expected to work much like the U.S. National Security Council, was one of few concrete measures announced in a communiqué Tuesday after a meeting of the party’s Central Committee—its top 376 leaders.

The four-day session produced Mr. Xi’s first policy blueprint after a year at the helm. The communiqué said market forces would play a “decisive” role in the economy but also said the party’s hand would stay strong, a mixed message that raised questions about the direction of reforms.

Together, the moves at the plenum were meant to signal how Mr. Xi’s decade in command may play out. Many analysts saw the security-body news as an indication of how Mr. Xi was consolidating power.

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