China Abolishes Term Limits for President

Katrina Barker
March 12, 2018

China's state-run news agency Xinhua described the event simply, with the headline: "China's national legislature adopts constitutional amendment".

Inside Beijing's Great Hall of the People, almost 3,000 delegates to the National People's Congress (NPC) cast their ballots on a series of proposed amendments - including removing the restriction that had limited the presidency to two consecutive five-year terms.

Observers say the constitutional amendment in effective paves the way for China's transition from being a one-party state to a one-leader state with Xi, described by some as an "Emperor", to remain in power in the foreseeable future. In China, there were also voices of opposition, including from Mr Li Rui, former secretary of late strongman Mao Zedong, who said Chinese culture led easily to the cult of personality.

During Wang's five years as head of the party's anti-graft body, 254,419 officials were investigated for possible wrongdoing, according to government data. While social media accounts of major state media outlets either disabled their comments section or only made visible comments praising the party, some words of dissent did manage to make it past the censors.

He is the CPC's "core" and has his political philosophy - "Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era" - inscribed into both the party and national constitutions.

Jinping is considered as China's strongest leader after Mao and is now heading CPC, the military, and the Presidency, which is mostly ceremonial.

Instead, he consolidated his political power as the party voted to enshrine his name and political ideology in the party's constitution - elevating his status to the level of its founder, Chairman Mao. The reality is that constitutional amendments adopted at that meeting do not even allude to economic reforms, but it seems clear, given its draft, that y could have an indirect impact on m. "Thorny issues like overhauling the health care and pension systems can no longer be put off by officials hoping his priorities will change in 2022".

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.

The amendment's enormous significance could account for the veil of secrecy that has apparently fallen over this year's legislative session.

This was the first amendment to the country's fundamental law in 14 years. "We've been cut off", said a representative of a Japanese company. President Xi has held talks with the delegation from the Guangdong province, the industrial heart of China.

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.

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