Analyst coverage of the recent 19th Party Congress has emphasized the “cult of Xi” and the lack of a designated successor among the new civilian leadership team, as well as the ideological and normative content of the Central Committee work report delivered by party chief Xi Jinping. Mostly overlooked were the parallel developments on the military side of the ledger, especially a dramatic new emphasis on the so-called “chairman responsibility system” and the personalization of Xi’s command over the People’s Liberation Army. This article examines the core congress documents and speeches related to the military and assesses their implications for party-military relations.
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The Cult of Xi and the Rise of the CMC Chairman Responsibility System