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Thursday's edition of the People's Daily, left, compared with the newspaper as it looked after the Communist Party congress 10 years ago.
Politics

China's Xi gets Mao treatment on People's Daily front page

Unusually large photo shows who's the boss

BEIJING -- A day after Xi Jinping began his second term as head of China's ruling Communist Party, the party's People's Daily mouthpiece published a front-page photo of him so big that it leaves no doubt as to his prominence compared with past leaders.

No other members of the Politburo Standing Committee -- the top decision-making body -- were pictured individually in Thursday's edition of the newspaper. A long shot of the entire group appears below Xi's image.

Not since Mao Zedong has a face featured in such proportions on the front of the People's Daily, said some who saw Thursday's paper.

Though the party bans personality cults, the daily appears to be doing its part to promote Xi as a "core" leader, a title he gained last year. During the just-ended National Congress, the party further elevated Xi by enshrining a system of political thinking named after him into its constitution, placing him alongside Mao and Deng Xiaoping.

After the party congress 10 years ago, the People's Daily ran a much smaller photo of then-General Secretary Hu Jintao, along with individual shots of each Standing Committee member. The newspaper followed that format after the 2012 congress as well, with a smaller picture of Xi and photos of each committee member.

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