China's President Xi Jinping Takes Another Step Toward Third Term In Office

Laura Christensen
February 26, 2018

The party's decision-making Central Committee proposed removing language from the document that says the head of state "shall serve no more than two consecutive terms", the official Xinhua News Agency said Sunday.

He began his second term as head of the party and military in October at the end of a party congress held once every five years.

Party congress a year ago saw him cement his status as the most powerful leader since the late Mao Zedong. "So removal of the section of the clause about the presidency in the Constitution is serving the most important and fundamental national interest and the Party's historic mission".

For Xi, what this means is that party's central committee's proposal to remove term limits will not be blocked by China's parliament, or NPC. But will the country's Parliament approve such a major change to the constitution?

"Xi Jinping has designs on a very long tenure in office - or he is doing a good impression of someone who does", Jude Blanchette, a China politics expert with the Conference Board in Beijing, told the Financial Times.

WeChat advised users they temporarily could not change their profile photos or usernames - a measure last used during the Communist Party's Congress previous year.

The current Constitution has been developed and improved based on the successful experience of China's socialist revolution, construction and reform, said Xi.

Mao Zedong, founder of the People's Republic of China, ruled for more than three decades until 1976.

Xi is overturning a two-term limit on national leaders that evolved from the 1990s, when the country sought a more predictable system for handing power to new generations.

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That, it was said, would be a sign the way was being paved for Xi to do the same beyond 2022.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at a meeting with President Xi Jinping in Beijing in 2016.

"Since 2050 is a long time away, he will need to stay in power for as long as possible", said Dr Lam.

Younger senior officials who were seen as leaders of the next generation were not appointed as members of the leadership.

The move is significant because if Wang does not retire, that would set a precedent for Xi to stay on in power too after he reaches what is normally considered retirement age.

He is also the Chairman of China's Central Military Commission - a title, like that of Communist Party chief, that does not have a term limit.

"The leaders said the current structure of the party and state institutions was not good enough to meet the requirements for various tasks of the new era", Xinhua said, citing a Saturday meeting of the 25-member Politburo.

After taking over a party general secretary, Xi has started a war against the corruption, which helped the country to improve its corruption perception ranking by Transparency International.

Other reports by My Hot News

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