Daily Trends Now
Daily Trends Now

Xi Jinping could end up being 'President for life' in China

Xi Jinping could end up being 'President for life' in China

The recommendation, made public by China's Central Committee on Sunday, would scrap the limit of two consecutive terms for the posts of president and vice president, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

At the 19th five-yearly party congress last October, the party unveiled a new seven-member Standing Committee - its top ruling body - that lacked any clear heir apparent to Xi.

Currently, there is a limit of two five-year terms for both presidents and vice presidents. "It obviously gives unprecedented power to him", said professor B.R. Deepak of Jawaharlal Nehru University.

The party has also proposed to include Xi's thought to the national constitution.

China's constitution, first adopted in 1982, has not been amended since 2004.

Traditionally, the President of People's Republic of China has been limited to serving just two five-year terms, given the then-current official was able to get elected a second time.

In what would be another break with tradition, Wang Qishan, a close ally of Xi who enforced his harsh campaign against corruption and disloyalty in the party, appears set to return to power as vice president.

'What is happening is potentially very risky because the reason why Mao Zedong made one mistake after another was because China at the time was a one-man show, ' Lam said.

"China has been going for the last few years under Xi in the direction of increased party intervention in society and lower hopes for the rule of law", Cohen said. In other words, the world of Mao Zedong must never threaten the path of modern China, nor must people become downtrodden based on the political whims of an all-encompassing ruler who dictates to the masses.

"We should expect Xi Jinping to be the dominant political force in China for the next decade", Blanchette said.

"This move is also not without risk for Xi", Howie said. At some point, Xi could be given a party position that also enables him to stay on as long as he likes.

Sunday's announcement on term limits came before the Central Committee was to begin a three-day meeting in Beijing on Monday to discuss major personnel appointments and other issues.

Indeed, how this will unfold in the months ahead will not only determine President Xi's fate, but the direction China will take in the next decade. Wang, in the end, didn't remain on the PSC-though there's still a chance that he may not actually retire.

"Hong Kong people are also anxious by Sunday's plans, as it was under Xi the biggest crackdown on any democracy movement in Hong Kong took place", Gopalan said.

Officially there is no limit on his tenure as the party and military chief, although a maximum 10-year term is the norm.

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.


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