Beijing: To set the tone for the upcoming 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, President Xi Jinping gave an "important" speech where he underlined the setting off on a new journey towards a "modern and socialist" country in an all-round way.

It seems like the first draft of the report to be presented by Xi in the party congress has been deliberated in the politburo. During a seminar titled "Learning the spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping's important speech and welcoming the 20th National Congress of the CPC" on Tuesday and Wednesday.

It also sums up the achievements in the last 5 years that have been "extremely unusual and extraordinary". The outstanding achievements are reflected in poverty alleviation, ecological civilization construction, safeguarding national security, advancing national defence and military modernization, maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and conducting diplomacy with Chinese characteristics.

Meanwhile, a senior Communist Party of China (CPC) official on Wednesday called for thoroughly studying the important remarks made by the Chinese President and general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, Xi Jinping, at a study session of provincial and ministerial-level officials.

This has come as Chinese President Xi Jinping is trying to consolidate power to secure his third term in office.

Huang Kunming, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, made the remarks at a teleconference with publicity officials nationwide.

General Secretary Xi Jinping's remarks answer a series of theoretical and practical questions concerning the development of the Party and the country's cause, said Huang, reported Xinhua.

The study, publicity and implementation of Xi's important remarks ought to be regarded as a major political task, Huang noted, urging concrete actions in carrying out publicity work in preparation for the Party's 20th National Congress.

Meanwhile, ahead of the Chinese Communist Party's twice-a-decade national congress in November, an intra-party bulletin that updated membership figures of the CCP has ruffled some feathers among some China analysts.

Last month, the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee said that the number of the Communist Party of China (CPC) members surpassed 96.71 million by the end of 2021.

The membership was 3.7 per cent up from the 2020 figure, and 15.9 per cent more than the figure when the 18th CCP National Congress was held in late 2012, Xinhua news agency reported.

According to the Chinese news agency, more than 4.38 million people joined the CPC last year when the Party marked its centenary, figures from the report showed. The CCP had nearly 4.94 million primary-level Party organizations as of the end of 2021, an increase of 117,000 from the previous year.

Xinhua reported that CCP has been making constant efforts to attract new members and become a vanguard to ensure the Party maintains its strong vitality and combat capacity.

The composition of Party membership has continuously improved with better levels of education and steady growth in the proportion of female members and those from ethnic minority groups, it added.

Writing for The Washington Times, China analyst Jianli Yang, said, "Under China's state propaganda machinery, the 'fact' that party membership increased during the worst period of the pandemic is supposed to imply that ordinary Chinese citizens fully supported the leadership's lockdown measures and were unperturbed by food shortages."

Jianli Yang argued that the statistics also reveal a subtle attempt by the leadership to assert that party membership increased the most after Xi Jinping came to power in 2012.

The China analyst highlighted how in a short span between 2012 and 2021, the CCP grew by an astounding 21 million members. Notably, Jianli points out that among CCP members, there is an issue of "dual" loyalty: loyalty to the party and loyalty to Xi himself.

Since the Chinese Chairman's ascent to power, Jianli argued that Xi has made relentless efforts to assert the CCP's dominance and coerce members to reaffirm their commitment to the party's ideology and "Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era."

Xi is more concerned about the party's loyalty to him.

"He (Xi) has spent years building an 'imperial' presidency and cult of personality, through his 'anti-corruption' campaigns through which potential rivals were purged or deterred. Party members have been asked to pledge personal loyalty to Mr Xi, reminiscent of Mao's Cultural Revolution," the China analyst added.