The United States is embroiled in a bitter presidential race and a surge in coronavirus infections. Europe is locking down again. In Beijing, by contrast, Xi Jinping is exuding confidence that he and China can emerge from the pandemic stronger and unbowed.

A Communist Party conclave concluded Thursday with a rousing statement lauding Xi as the party’s helmsman, affirming his broad mandate as the leader who will steer China through perilous waters for years to come. The meeting of the Central Committee, a council of senior officials, laid out ambitions for China to mature as an economic, military and cultural power despite rising uncertainty abroad.

With Xi as "the core navigator and helmsman,” an official summary from the meeting read, "we will certainly be able to conquer the range of hardships and dangers that lie on the path forward.”