China allows Xi to remain president indefinitely

China allows Xi to remain president indefinitely

China's largely ceremonial parliament on Sunday overwhelmingly endorsed a controversial change to the country's constitution, paving the way for President Xi Jinping to stay in power indefinitely.

The Communist Party of China has cited people's demand for change in the constitution.

But the extremely high approval rate, nevertheless, gives the controversial move a veneer of universal support within the establishment; despite criticism at home and overseas.

With another amendment to the country's constitution, Xi managed to strengthen the party to the detriment of the state, a deviation from late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping's efforts to eliminate the Cultural Revolution's main distortion, the blurring of lines between the party and the state that led to the one-man rule of Chairman Mao.

Xi's move was widely speculated as his desire to cling to power beyond 10 years, but little was anticipated of the proposal in this regard that came like a bolt from the blue last month.

To the worldwide criticism that this could lead to one-man dictatorship, China said that this was false and the amendment had the support of the people.

"It means that Xi is now unquestionably a Leninist strongman", Steve Tsang, director of the China Institute at SOAS University of London.

CHINA's powerful leader Xi Jinping will be allowed to remain a Chairman Mao-style "president for life" after a constitutional amendment was passed today. More specifically, with constitutional amendment just introduced by Chinese Communist Party's leadership, it makes clear that it is not interested in an open confrontation with or powers in world but cooperation for mutual benefit.

Mr Xi became president in 2012 and quickly gained a reputation for fighting corruption, punishing more than a million party members.

Beijing has said lifting the term limits is about protecting the authority of the party with Xi at its center.

"It is rare nowadays to see a country with a constitution that emphasizes the constitutional position of any one political party", said Zhang, the political commentator.

The vote took place at the Great Hall of the People on iconic Tiananmen Square, where nearly 30 years ago student-led pro-democracy protests were crushed by the Communist regime.

"I don't think this issue exists", he said at a post-vote press conference.

There was good reason behind the term limit.

Meanwhile, in a rare show of dissent, Xi's facilitation of a lifetime presidency has been called a farce by a former state newspaper editor, Li Datong.

The National People's Congress, as expected, voted overwhelmingly to scrap the limit of two five-year presidential terms, a move that will enable to Xi to rule China for as long as he wants.

Despite China's constant rhetoric of seeking and promoting global public goods through its espousal of globalization or its "Belt and Road Initiative", in practice it ignores those aspects of global norms it perceives as inconvenient. But the vote sparked some negative comments on Twitter-like Weibo, with one user defying censors to write "we're over" while another said "we are back in the Qing Dynasty", referring to China's last imperial era.



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