The Charming Hardliner: Xi Jinping Assumes Reins of Restive China

Still, Xi left no doubt that he believes in the party’s collectivist worldview. He noted that the capabilities of each individual are “limited,” but that those of the party as a whole are not. He said that the responsibility of China’s new leadership is “as heavy as Mount Tai,” one of the five sacred mountains of Taoism. As long as it stays true to “socialism with Chinese characteristics,” he continued, the party’s position of leadership is ensured.

This is unmistakably the core of the dogma that the party is so eager to preserve — but one that has increasingly little to do with the lives of so many Chinese. This is the core that the party will continue to embrace under the leadership of Xi Jinping and his team. But, as his speech made clear, the tone of China’s leaders might soon change.

Xi Jinping Takes Helm as President of China after Party Congress – SPIEGEL ONLINE