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This Happened

This Happened—November 15: China Has A New Leader

On this day in 2012, Xi Jinping was elected General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, on his way to becoming the most powerful leader in China since Mao Zedong.

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How has Xi Jinping led China?

Since taking office, Xi Jinping has removed political opponents from China’s government and introduced measures to enforce political unity in the country, while also using five-year plans to maintain China’s standing as the world’s fastest growing economy.

Like Mao Zedong, Xi Jinping has been described as a dictator as a result of his policies conducting mass surveillance, censoring speech and expression, and the recent internment of the Uyghurs Muslim minority in the northwest.

How long will Xi Jinping serve as General Secretary?

In 2021, the Central Committee removed a de facto two-term limit, allowing Xi Jinping to remain in office indefinitely. The last leader to serve more than two terms was Mao Zedong, who was widely considered a ruthless dictator.

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Geopolitics

Minerals And Violence: A Papal Condemnation Of African Exploitation, Circa 2023

Before heading to South Sudan to continue his highly anticipated trip to Africa, the pontiff was in the Democratic Republic of Congo where he delivered a powerful speech, in a country where 40 million Catholics live.

Minerals And Violence: A Papal Condemnation Of African Exploitation, Circa 2023
Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — You may know the famous Joseph Stalin quote: “The Pope? How many divisions has he got?” Pope Francis still has no military divisions to his name, but he uses his voice, and he does so wisely — sometimes speaking up when no one else would dare.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (the former Belgian Congo, a region plundered and martyred, before and after its independence in 1960), Francis has chosen to speak loudly. Congo is a country with 110 million inhabitants, immensely rich in minerals, but populated by poor people and victims of brutal wars.

That land is essential to the planetary ecosystem, and yet for too long, the world has not seen it for its true value.

The words of this 86-year-old pope, who now moves around in a wheelchair, deserve our attention. He undoubtedly said what a billion Africans are thinking: "Hands off the Democratic Republic of the Congo! Hands off Africa! Stop choking Africa: It is not a mine to be stripped or a terrain to be plundered!"

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