“What do these changes really mean?
A key phrase here is “new era,” one that Mr. Xi has used throughout the congress, which began last week. Mr. Xi has described Chinese history since 1949 as divided into two eras: the three decades after Mao seized power in a revolution that established a unified People’s Republic and ended nearly a century of civil war and foreign invasions, and the three decades after Deng took power in 1978 and refocused China on developing its economy.
Mr. Xi has signaled he is launching China into a new, third era. In his report to the congress, Mr. Xi suggested that if Mao made China independent, and Deng made it prosperous, he would make it strong again. Restoring China to greatness is a central message of “Xi Jinping Thought,” and a goal that has already guided Mr. Xi’s policies of building up the military, strengthening domestic controls and raising China’s profile in global affairs.”