China scraps presidential term limit, enabling Xi Jinping to rule indefinitely


China scraps presidential term limit, enabling Xi Jinping to rule indefinitely

At a press conference last week, Foreign Minister Wang Yi pointed out that head-of-state diplomacy "plays a pivotal role (in state-to-state interaction) and has irreplaceable strategic value" and that Mr Xi's "leadership style and charisma have earned him and his country many good friends among foreign leaders". Additionally, clauses were included to give a legal framework to a new super anti-corruption department.

A total of 2,958 delegates voted to remove the two-term limit in the constitution for the state president and vice president.

One person who managed to get past censors on China's Twitter-like Weibo expressed concern "about the safety of those two people who voted against Xi's will".

Voting began in the mid-afternoon, with Xi leading members of the seven-member all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee in casting their votes.

The room erupted into loud applause when the result of the vote was passed, though Xi did not address parliament.

In the past nine decades of the party's history it has overcome hardships and resolved major problems, including orderly leadership transitions and keeping the party and country's vitality and long-term stability, he added. "I think it's great".

"So, going forward the road we are on will definitely be longer and wider, and the future brighter and brighter".

In the run up to the vote, critics on social media attacked the move and drew parallels to North Korea or suggested a Mao Zedong-type cult of personality was forming. But the government quickly mounted a propaganda push, blocking some comments and publishing pieces praising the proposal.

Rodgers told Premier that now Xi Jinping is President for life and his power-base is strengthened, Christians in China can expect to see "continuing, perhaps increasing, repression".

"He's a bit of bulldozer - and there's no other senior politician who could or want to stand up to him", said Duncan Innes-Ker, regional director for Asia at the Economist Intelligence Unit. "There's no one system that suits all countries". It included other changes created to put Xi and the party at the very heart of Chinese life.

His predecessors - Jiang Zemin who was in power from 1993 to 2003 and Hu Jintao from 2003 to 2013 - stepped down as the General Secretary of the party as well as the president after widely followed rule as well as a convention of two terms to promote collective leadership system in the one-party state.

The ruling Communist Party announced the proposals on February 25 and, amid a backlash in some quarters, has justified the change as a necessity to align the presidency with Xi's two other, more powerful, posts - heads of the party and the military - that have no term limits.

"If Xi Jinping is backing it, you know it will be a tool to consolidate absolute political control by persecuting enemies, intimidating potential adversaries, and hounding everybody else", said author Gordon Chang. 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.

Xi's official titles are nice, but "core leader" of the party - which he was declared in late 2016 - puts Xi in historic company.



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