Share this on Twitter Share this on Facebook Share this on LinkedIn Share this on Sina Weibo Share this on Wechat Share this on LinkedIn Members of the new Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China. Xi Jinping, centre, and from left to right, Li Xi, Can Qi, Zhao Leji, Li Qiang, Wang Huning, and Ding Xuexiang. October 23, 2022. Credit: Kevin Frayer via Getty Images By claiming a third term at the 20th Party Congress, Xi Jinping has become China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong. Now he will be leader until either he dies or is deposed in a power struggle. With old Party institutions melting away under his watch, Xi may be inaugurating a new period of political uncertainty that is superficially stable, but structurally fragile. Xi has restored a personalistic dictatorial regime and demolished the collective leadership and intra-party rules that Deng Xiaoping instituted after Mao died. Hu Jintao’s mysterious exit from the Party Congress on Saturday, right after the names of the leaders in the new Central Committee who would be eligible for the Politburo and Standing Committee were announced, dramatized the end of collective leadership. It also hinted at the possibility of future splits between those who favor more sharing of power among Party elites, and those who believe that Xi Jinping’s strongman rule is China’s best hope. Subscribe or login to read the rest. Subscribers get full access to: Exclusive longform investigative journalism, Q&As, news and analysis, and data on Chinese business elites and corporations. We publish China scoops you won't find anywhere else. A weekly curated reading list on China from David Barboza, Pulitzer Prize-winning former Shanghai correspondent for The New York Times. A daily roundup of China finance, business and economics headlines. We offer discounts for groups, institutions and students. Go to our Subscriptions page for details.