China’s Communist Party proposed an amendment to the country’s constitution on Sunday which would end its two-term presidential term limit.
This is hardly surprising because, like in any authoritarian country where organs must show their ‘ to the ruling regime, they have no choice but to endorse the move no matter how controversial it is. In 1949, Mao Zedong stood atop the Gate of Heavenly Peace and declared that the “Chinese people have finally stood up”, a slogan that became the origin story of the modern nation.
Currently, the Chinese constitution, which has been in effect since 1982, prohibits more than two terms for the president and the vice-president.
The Central Committee (CC) of the Chinese Communist Party also allowed local authorities to gain greater autonomy in decision-making as long as they are in line with the central rate.
Although they didn’t openly voice their views, privately many other Chinese, including party members and intellectuals, probably share such apprehensions.
Word of the announcement came as the Trump administration on Wednesday warned that it would vigorously defend US national interests against “hostile” powers such as China and Russian Federation, vowing to use “all available tools” to combat unfair practices – a sign that the president may be preparing to erect new trade barriers. It is, however, the one that has triggered widespread condemnation, in China and elsewhere.
Yet, it’s hardly convincing.
The document is critical of previous administrations for not “asserting sovereign authority” and continuing to “passively adhere to outdated and under-performing trade deals and allow [ing] global bureaucracies to undermine United States interests”.
Xi has made a number of sweeping reforms since taking power, fighting corruption and strengthening the country’s economy and legal system but also cracking down on digital dissent. By then, he will be 82 or 97, respectively.
As speculation about the continuation of Xi, regarded as the most powerful Chinese leader in recent decades, is rife, Wang Xiangwei, former journalist of the state-run China Daily and ex-Chief Editor of the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post, said if everything goes well chances were that Xi could continue till 2032 until he attains the age of 82. Reuters, for instance, is reporting that Xinhua’s press release “was created to railroad” recalcitrant members of the Central Committee, and those brazen tactics are evidently causing even more friction in a badly split Party leadership.
FROM banning much-loved kids’ character Winnie the Pooh to abnormally long beards, China has exerted control over its people through strict censorship. According to, the Great Famine killed up to 45 million people. The proposal is likely to be adopted later this month when the national legislature meets in Beijing.
Xi is no doubt reversing China’s march towards openness and rule of law.
The propaganda push has failed to allay fears about China becoming a country with a leader with little accountability.
Such an institutionalized rule was followed by Jiang Zemin and especially Hu Jintao, Xi’s two immediate predecessors.
To avoid that worst-case scenario, the two sides should take the opportunity of this week’s visit to Washington by China’s top economic adviser, to focus on common ground and find reasonable solutions to their trade differences. There are also delegates for self-ruled Taiwan, mostly made up of defectors and their descendants.
The U.S. plan to slap punitive new tariffs on steel and aluminum amounts to a “stupid trade protection measure”, one of China’s largest industry groups said Friday, as the world’s second-largest economy confronted looming new barriers to its product across the Pacific.