Chinese President Xi joins Mao and Deng as lingxiu

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The word is used to refer to highly revered state leaders
The Communist Party of China (CPC) has named President Xi Jinping as the lingxiu — a status that has been bestowed only to iconic leaders Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping.

The People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) seeking absolute loyalty towards Mr. Xi, posted an article on Monday, which, for the first time, elevated Mr. Xi as lingxiu — or “leader”.

“We are fully aware of our responsibilities. We should resolutely support the core, faithfully follow the lingxiu, use our courage and morale… and make strides toward a brighter future,” read the article under the byline of Xuan Yan.

The word lingxiu means “leader” with a positive political connotation and refers to highly revered state leaders, the state-run Global Times reported.

“The word lingxiu means more than just a leader. It is often bestowed to a leader who enjoys the highest prestige, who is the most capable and who is widely recognised by the entire Party,” the Global Times quoted Su Wei, a professor at the Party School of the CPC Chongqing Municipal Committee, as saying.

“Usually lingxiu has broad meaning and refers to several people at the highest level. But in the current circumstances, it has specific meaning which may endow Mr. Xi a role equivalent to Deng and Mao,” says Roger Woo, a political analyst in a conversation with The Hindu. Mr. Su said that the emergence of a lingxiu is the symbol of a mature political party, adding that since the 18th CPC National Congress, Xi’s achievements in various fields, especially the anti-graft drive, have been widely acknowledged.

The Global Times noted that military’s official PLA Daily also referred to Mr. Xi as lingxiu on January 5 last year. , quoting PLA Navy sailors and military officers from China’s aircraft carrier Liaoning as saying that “we are sailing in the sight of lingxiu.”

A People’s Daily article as reported by Xinhua said that the world was facing a “democratic deficit,” “governance deficit,” “development trap,” wealth gap, terrorism and climate change. It added that “the drawbacks of capitalism-led political and economic systems are emerging; the global governance system is experiencing profound changes and a new international order is taking shape.”

“The world needs China, as all humans are living in a community with a shared future,” the article said.

“It is also a key period for the realising of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and for the CPC and the Chinese people to carve out their career,” it said.

The article highlighted that, “China has become an important source and stabiliser for world economic growth, as well as an important protector and advocate of world peace and development and human civilization progress.”

“We are fully aware of our responsibilities. We should resolutely support the core, faithfully follow the leader, use our courage and morale…and make strides toward a brighter future,” it observed.

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