Sunday, 16 December, 2018

China abolishes presidential term limits, allowing Xi Jinping to rule indefinitely

Follow my lead Follow my lead
Andrew Cummings | 12 March, 2018, 09:06

Only two of 2,964 votes were cast against the change. The two votes of dissent apparently had official sanction to show a semblance of diversity.

Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during a joint press briefing at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China on January 9, 2018. It drew 10 opposing votes and 17 abstentions.

Voting will begin on Sunday afternoon. The move blocked the emergence of an alternative leader, put unbridled power over the party, the military and the state administration in Xi's hands for years to come.

Even before Sunday's vote, it seemed likely Xi would stick around after the end of his term - for starters, he hadn't named a successor.

Only five years ago Beijing was being ruled by a collective leadership. The removal of the term limit was regarded as the biggest political change in the one-party system which has remained in force in China since 1949.

In addition to scrapping the limitation that presidents can serve only two consecutive terms, the amendments also inserted Xi's personal political philosophy into the preamble of the constitution, along with phrasing that emphasizes the party's leadership.

Therefore, and for moment at least, rest of world should not expect major changes in China's economic model to be in staunch fight against foreign competition wher it is on role that State continues to play in production of goods and services.

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"I will definitely support this constitutional amendment and this government". The party's official People's Daily has said this does not mean life-long terms.

The party loyalists who attend the annual session of parliament have said the decision is popular with ordinary Chinese people and asserted that China was lucky to have a leader of Xi's calibre.

The leadership defended the move, with Xi telling a group of delegates from the southern province of Guangdong that the constitutional amendments reflected "the common will of the party and people". Like Deng Xiaoping, Mr. Xi sees a need to correct China's systems and path.

Social media users who have dared to compare his round mien to that of the affable Winnie the Pooh have found their posts quickly deleted, and a man who referred to him as "Steamed Bun Xi" - a knock at his breakfast publicity stunt - was jailed for two years.

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

"In these years we have seen the rise and decline of countries and particularly the harsh reality that the Western political system doesn't apply to developing countries and produces awful results".

Critics of the move said that China shifted from "one-party rule" to essentially a "one-man rule". "We've been cut off", said a representative of a Japanese company. China's government is tightening its grip on markets and encouraging state enterprises to grow and consolidate.

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