Xi Jinping becomes China's 'president for life' as Parliament abolishes term limits

Randolph Lopez
March 12, 2018

China has removed presidential term limits from its constitution, in a move that effectively allows Xi Jinping to remain as president for life.

Although, a priori, such a concentration of power could facilitate introduction of draft economic reforms and cushion inevitable slowdown in China's growth in coming years, for time being re is no glimpse that this is direction it wants Take Xi Jinping at least if we rely on amendments to Chinese Constitution that have just been agreed.

Following the Communists' high-stakes party congress last October, Xi began to be referred to in government meetings and state media as "Lingxiu", a reverential terms with spiritual connotations.

He has used crackdowns on corruption and calls for a revitalised party to become the most powerful Chinese leader in decades.

"The top leader's term limits are the biggest common denominator shared by all political forces in China", he said.

The constitutional amendment bill was ratified by an overwhelming support from the delegates of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's parliament.

With another amendment to the country's constitution, Xi managed to strengthen the party to the detriment of the state, a deviation from late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping's efforts to eliminate the Cultural Revolution's main distortion, the blurring of lines between the party and the state that led to the one-man rule of Chairman Mao.

Xi Jinping is already considered as the most powerful leader of China after Mao as he held the posts of head of the CPC, the military and the Presidency, which is mostly ceremonial.

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In a sign of the issue's sensitivity, government censors have aggressively scrubbed social media of expressions ranging from "I disagree" to "Xi Zedong".

A number of prominent Chinese figures have publicly protested against the move, despite the risk of official retaliation.

China's National People's Congress voted Sunday to abolish presidential term limits.

While some scholars questioned the wisdom of the move, others said they saw value in sending the message that Xi would be setting policy for many years to come.

Senior Communist Party officials have warned the delegates not to talk with foreign governments or businesses, a diplomatic source said, as removing term limits has been criticized overseas as moving one step closer to autocracy.

In China, there was opposition to the change. As if this were not enough, anti-corruption agency, led by Xi Jinping's closest ally, Weng Qi Xian, is also elevated to constitutional rank, placing it above many or control bodies. Leading Chinese officials have meanwhile repeatedly rejected any chance of adopting Western-style separation of powers or multiparty democracy.

While calling for China's "great rejuvenation" as a world power, Xi has cultivated a personal image as a man of the people who dresses modestly and buys his own steamed buns at an ordinary shop.

"He wants to prevent power from falling into the hands of technocrats like Jiang (Zemin) and Hu (Jintao)", Wu said, referring to Xi's two predecessors.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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