Instead, Xi Jinping consolidated his political power as the party voted to enshrine his name and political ideology in the party’s constitution – elevating his status to the level of its founder, Chairman Mao.
On paper, the congress is the most powerful legislative body in China – similar to the parliament in other nations. It was widely believed that it would approve what it was told to.
Xi Jinping became president in 2012, and quickly consolidated personal power while cementing China as the regional superpower.
He also fought corruption, punishing more than a million party members – which has helped his popularity among some.
However, at the same time, China has clamped down on many emerging freedoms, increasing its state surveillance and censorship programs. Critics also say Xi Jinping has used the anti-corruption purge to sideline political rivals.
President Trump has said the summit “will be a very difficult one”. In 2016, he accused China of “raping the US”.
During the election campaign, Donald Trump said massive trade deficits and job losses could no longer be tolerated. However, at dinner on April 6, it was all smiles, with the leaders’ two wives, folk singer Peng Liyuan and First Lady Melania Trump also in attendance.
The meeting was, however, largely overshadowed later by a US airstrike on an airbase in Syria in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack.
Although Beijing has condemned this and previous missile tests, it has so far been reluctant to isolate its neighbor, fearing its collapse could spawn a refugee crisis and bring the US military to its doorstep.
Donald Trump is expected to call on Xi Jinping to arm-twist North Korea into halting its nuclear program by denying it access to banking institutions.
The president told the Financial Times this week he was prepared to act unilaterally, saying: “If China is not going to solve North Korea, we will.”
A senior White House official said North Korea would be a key test for the Trump-Xi relationship.
“The clock is very, very quickly running out,” the official said.
“All options are on the table for us.”
For his part, President Xi Jinping will seek assurances from President Donald Trump on US arms sales to Taiwan, which China considers a breakaway province that must eventually reunify with the mainland.
Donald Trump outraged China in December when he took the unorthodox step of accepting a phone call from the Taiwanese president.
Addressing a UN summit on development goals, Chinese President Xi Jinping has pledged to establish a $2 billion fund to assist developing countries and to significantly increase investment.
Xi Jinping said investment would reach $12 billion over the next 15 years.
He also said China would cancel debts to the world’s least developed nations, including small island nations.
Beijing, the Chinese leader added, would assist in 600 overseas projects in the next five years and offer more scholarships.
“Looking around the world, the peace and development remain the two major themes of the times,” Xi Jinping said.
“To solve various global challenges, including the recent refugee crisis in Europe, the fundamental solutions lie in seeking peace and realizing development.
“Facing with various challenges and difficulties, we must keep hold of the key of the development. Only the development can eliminate the causes of the conflicts.”
Xi Jinping’s pledges of aid give a big boost to the launch of the UN’s new Global Goals for Sustainable Development – the day after all members states committed themselves to a hugely ambitious program.
The plan aims to eradicate poverty and hunger by 2030.
It was China’s extraordinary record shifting so many families out the ranks of the poor which ensured that the overall global record in poverty reduction under the previous Millennium Development Goals was substantial.
Now China is offering to help other countries – particularly in Africa.
This new initiative also suggests China is willing to take on more of the responsibilities that go with its status as emerging superpower.
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