China scraps two-term limit, makes Xi Jinping president for life

Tanya SimonMar 12, 2018

To amend the constitution, out of total 2,963 lawmakers, 3 were not present during voting and only 2 voted against the constitution change proposal.

Schoolchildren, college students and staff at state factories will have to study the political ideology, which the Communist Party is trying to portray as a new chapter for modern China.

US President Donald Trump was criticised by some commentators for seeming to approve of Mr Xi's unlimited rule, saying on Monday: "President for life".

Critics of the move said that China shifted from "one-party rule" to essentially a "one-man rule".

Although, a priori, such a concentration of power could facilitate introduction of draft economic reforms and cushion inevitable slowdown in China's growth in coming years, for time being re is no glimpse that this is direction it wants Take Xi Jinping at least if we rely on amendments to Chinese Constitution that have just been agreed.

In 2015, the 12th NPC passed a revision to the Legislation Law, granting more Chinese cities the power to issue local regulations. Xi is likely to promote Wang Qishan, the former anti-corruption czar, to the rank of vice-president later this week.

But, says the BBC's Stephen McDonell in Beijing, China's president has now amassed power the likes of which has not been seen here for decades and he is even less likely to be challenged after today's result.

The effort has prompted memories of the upheaval of Mao's 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution.

Now and in the near future, there seems no leader who could challenge a towering Xi.

But Xi has presided over a tough crackdown on civil society and freedom of speech that belies the chummy image - and he tolerates no ridicule or slander of his person.

Officials have said the abolishing of the presidential term limits is aimed only at bringing the office of the president in line with Xi's other positions atop the Communist Party and the Central Military Commission, which do not impose term limits.

His predecessors, Hu and Jiang Zemin, had conventionally announced their successors.

Ahead of the vote by deputies in the NPC - regarded as the rubber stamp parliament for its routine endorsement of CPC proposals - the seven-member Standing Committee, which is the top most body of the ruling Communist Party of China, unanimously approved the amendment to abolish the presidential term limits.

This has startled the global community.

The leader of the world's second-largest economy arguably enjoys more clout than US President Donald Trump who has been ridiculed or slammed home and overseas for his theatrics and controversial decisions.

Under his signature Belt and Road project, China has invested billions of dollars in building highways, ports and railways in several countries. But Cary Huang, a columnist with the South China Morning Post, warns that Xi has expanded his crackdown to include political dissent, citing a "broader crusade to root out anyone disloyal or who fails to comply with his orders".

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