February 26, 2018
China’s Communist Party has proposed scrapping its two-term limit on the presidency paving way for Xi Jinping to continue his rule.
The Communist Party of China’s Central Committee on Saturday made public its proposal on amendments to China’s constitution. Outlined in the proposed changes were clauses to remove the tw0-term limit to the presidency.
The central committee proposed to change clauses in the constitution regarding the president from, “The term of office of the President and Vice-President of the People’s Republic of China is the same as that of the National People’s Congress, and they shall serve no more than two consecutive terms” to “The term of office of the President and Vice-President of the People’s Republic of China is the same as that of the National People’s Congress.”
Under the current system, Xi is due to give up power by the end of 2023, according to China Daily.
“The lifting of the restriction means that Xi need not step down after 10 years in office, unlike his immediate predecessors, Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin,” as noted in the Straits Times. “Analysts say overturning the term limit is yet another indication of Xi’s dominance in the power structure, where he could move to break with a tradition in place since the 1990s. It also elevates him as a leader on a par with Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping.”
Both Mao and Deng ruled indefinitely until death or retirement.
A mandate to rule
Xi did not allude to the proposed changes to the constitution in a statement made on Saturday at a central committee meeting. Instead, he focused on the importance of the constitution and its role as the paramount law of the land.
“No organization or individual has the privilege to overstep the Constitution or the law. Any conduct that goes against the Constitution or the law must be punished,” Xi said.
In his speech Xi stressed that China must follow a law-based and constitution-based form of governance and that his government would continue educating and popularizing the charter.
Enshrining Xi’s thoughts
Xi unveiled his “Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era,” in late 2017. The political theory developed by Xi, focuses on rule of law and improving the lives of common people.
Like Mao’s social and political programs and Deng’s opening up of China, Xi’s theory is believed to set a path for China’s political future for years to come.
On Sunday, the central committee proposed enshrining Xi’s manifesto into the constitution thereby making it part of the law of the land.