Monday, 20 May, 2019

China Proposes Dropping Term Limits for President Xi

China Proposes Dropping Term Limits for President Xi China Proposes Dropping Term Limits for President Xi
Patty Aguilar | 25 February, 2018, 13:09

The proposed change, which would also apply to the vice-president, will be submitted to legislators at the annual full session of the National People's Congress starting March 5.

China's President Xi Jinping claps after his speech as he and other new Politburo Standing Committee members meet with the press at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China October 25, 2017.

In a statement on Saturday following a meeting chaired by President Xi Jinping, who is also head of the party, the official Xinhua news agency said the party's Central Committee would hold a plenary session from February 26 to Feb.28.

The constitutional provision barring the president from serving more than 10 years is the only formal barrier keeping Xi, who also serves as party leader and commander-in-chief of the military, from ruling after 2023.

The announcement, carried by state news agency Xinhua, gave few details.

It is purposely vague but states that the decision was made by the central committee, which holds the most power in the government. The proposal also covers the vice president position.

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The once-in-five-years Congress of the CPC last year approved Xi's ideology to be written into its Constitution - an honour that had been reserved only to modern China's founder Chairman Mao Zedong and his successor Deng Xiaoping.

The Central Committee also proposed inserting "Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era" into the constitution, Xinhua said in a separate statement, referring to President Xi. But, in this case, the party has members who have sworn their loyalty, so there won't be much problem to pass it.

Current law restricts the president to two terms.

The feared former head of the anti-graft agency, Wang Qishan, stepped down from the Standing Committee last October because at 69, he had reached the traditional retiring age. But he has been chosen as a parliament delegate this year and is likely to become vice president, sources with ties to the leadership and diplomats say.

Xi's agenda has been to build China up as a global superpower while attempting to restructure its economy, which is now affected by slower growth and soaring debt.

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