China allows Xi to remain president indefinitely, tightening his grip on power

Framed portraits of German philosopher Karl Marx Soviet state founder Vladimir Lenin and China’s late leaders Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping hang above a screen showing President Xi Jinping

China allows Xi to remain president indefinitely, tightening his grip on power

China's rubber-stamp lawmakers yesterday passed a historic constitutional amendment abolishing a presidential two-term limit that will enable Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) to rule indefinitely.

The amendment also inserted Xi's personal political philosophy into the preamble of the constitution and phrasing that emphasizes the leadership of the ruling Communist Party.

The first constitutional amendment in 14 years had been expected to breeze through the legislature, which has never rejected a Communist Party diktat in its half-century of existence.

Warm applause broke out in the Great Hall of People in Beijing on Sunday as China's Parliament overwhelmingly voted to end the two-term limit of the presidency. The two votes of dissent were apparently has the official sanction to show semblance of diversity.

The amendment, approved on Sunday by China's largely ceremonial parliament, upends a system enacted by its former leader Deng Xiaoping in 1982 to prevent a return to the bloody excesses of a lifelong dictatorship typified by Mao Zedong's chaotic 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution.

Directors of supervisory commissions of all levels will serve the same term as that of the people's congress of the same level, while the director of the national supervisory commission shall serve no more than two consecutive terms. Party spokespeople reject such talk, insisting Xi is the core of its seven-member Standing Committee, not a lone strongman.

At the same time, they wrote, "Xi is fostering a political environment in China that increases the risk of policy failure" by surrounding himself with officials who are focused primarily on pleasing him, likely to the detriment of their candor.

"This is the urgent wish of the common people", Ju Xiuqin, a delegate from northeastern Heilongjiang province, told AFP, echoing party claims that lifting term limits had the unanimous support of "the masses".

The inclusion of the vice president was notably aimed at reinforcing Xi's support base as his trusted lieutenant, 69-year-old Wang Qishan, is tipped to take over the post despite a widely-followed convention by Chinese leaders to retire after 68 years of age. Days after Communist Party of China proposed this change, United States ' President Donald Trump in an event had said that we should also give it a try. China Daily in an editorial on Thursday wrote that it was needed to consolidate the party's governance of the country and would not necessarily imply lifetime tenure for any leader.

"Xi Jinping has presided over so many important projects such as economic reforms and the fight against corruption".

Shen cited Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, as saying that leading officials should uphold rule of law, oppose rule of man, hold in awe of the Constitution, and exercise their duty within the boundaries of the Constitution and laws, when joining a panel discussion with NPC deputies from Chongqing.

"The whole country get notified at virtually the last minute, with discussions silenced on the social media", said a college student in Guangxi Province, who feared the repercussions of using his name. He said, "It is at a cost that I think China should not accept".

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