How Xi Jinping rewrites China’s history to put itself at the center

China’s Communist Party has released a rare new account of its history that seals Xi Jinping’s place in the pantheon of the country’s greatest leaders. The document’s implications go beyond simply rewriting the past: it enables Mr Xi to exert lasting influence over the country’s future when he seeks a precedent-breaking third term next year.

Sir. Xi is just the third Chinese leader, after Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, to draft a resolution on the party’s history. While Mao’s resolution in 1945 and Deng’s in 1981 both challenged dissenting views on the party’s past, Mr Xi’s refrained from any overt political attack on his predecessors. Instead, as Oxford University historian Rana Mitter explains, it seeks to portray the party’s century-long history as a “continuous path to revolutionary change” – one that Mr Xi is uniquely suited to inherit and perpetuate.

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