Recently, at Xi's request, the party has changed the rules about term limits for the presidency. Since Xi is just entering his second five-year term as President, this potentially gives him life tenure as the nation's leader, and certainly attenuates the idea that Xi will have to accommodate any views other than his own, going forward.
The New York Times' "Interpreter Newsletter," written by Max Fisher and Amanda Taub, discussed whether it was proper to call Xi a "strongman," a title that some commentators are now using to describe Xi. The picture above is from "The Interpreter," and the caption under the picture says, I assume with tongue in cheek, "Xi Jinping will need some flashier clothes before he can call himself a real strongman." The idea that "clothes make the man" goes back a long way, and I commend Sartor Resartus to you, if you haven't read that classic work by Thomas Carlyle.
As a practical matter, what counts is that the government of China has now been transformed from a model of what The New York Times' editorial board has called "an autocratic collective" to a government based on "one-man rule."
The system Mr. Xi has created ... makes it less likely he will receive sound policy advice or be challenged on decisions in ways that could avoid mistakes. That’s because he solidified his power base during the first term by waging an aggressive campaign against corruption and dissent, silencing political rivals and stacking the ruling Politburo with loyalists reluctant to speak up ....
One has to wonder what such control will do to innovation, a driver of progress in successful economies. Or whether knowing he has a job for life, Mr. Xi — who has presented himself as a benign father figure overseeing China’s peaceful rise — may be tempted by other risks, including in foreign policy.
Decisions based on a process that encourages conflict and controversy can avoid mistakes in the first place, and will best let a government reverse mistakes when made. As everyone knows, the human tendency to "double down" on a mistake (so as not to have admit you made one) is an all too common human tendency! Our system of law and government, based on the "adversarial" principle (and unlike the one now established in China), is designed to minimize that danger.