The incorporation of Xi Jinping’s thinking into the party constitution indicates his extraordinary power – but also his breadth of vision

Money isn’t everything. That is Xi Jinping’s central message – even if he takes rather longer to say it. When the 2,300 delegates to the Communist Party of China’s congress unanimously voted to add Xi Jinping’s Thought to its constitution on Tuesday, they cemented his unrivalled authority: challenge him now and you challenge the party itself. But this was more than a symbol. As ruthlessly realistic as the leadership is, words matter – not only to those it rules, but to the rest of us, with China’s rise and the faltering and retreat of the US.

For those yet to read the full text of this week’s resolution, or to parse last week’s speech from Mr Xi, there is much to sift through (his marathon address included a pledge to oppose “unprincipled nice guy-ism”). But at the core is the idea that China, and so all of us, are entering a new age.

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