Xi’s control over China’s former leaders suggests his is China’s most powerful leader since Mao.
September 30, 2015 marked a new beginning in Chinese politics — the start of a new era in Xi Jinping’s authority. On this day, the State Council hosted a dinner celebrating the 66th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. In contrast to the past, when retired senior leaders were invited to join the current leaders to partake in the celebrative banquet, most of China’s previous leaders were absent this time.
It is possible that their collective absence was a decision made by Xi alone, and not for any obvious reasons. These former leaders were invited for the military parade because Xi wanted it, and they were not invited to the state banquet because he did not like it. These powerful former leaders now have to come and go with a simple wave of Xi’s hand.
From this point of view, Xi’s power has already surpassed that of Deng Xiaoping, who took years to persuade his colleagues to semi-retire from the Politburo and the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party to the Central Advisory Commission. Xi now commands power equivalent to that of Mao Zedong, who purged his colleagues en masse in the beginning of the Cultural Revolution in 1966.
With this quiet demonstration, the era of Xi Jinping has now been inaugurated.
Full article: China’s Xi Jinping Era Has Begun (The Diplomat)