Specter of one-man rule looms as China lifts Xi's term limit

Song Tao

Song Tao

She said term limits "is something that President Donald Trump supports here, but that's a decision that would be up to China".

Social media users shared images of Winnie the Pooh hugging a jar of honey along with the quote, "Find the thing you love and stick with it".

"You already have people calling Xi Jinping emperor for life and he has almost complete control over all aspects of the government in China", CBS News Asia Correspondent Ben Tracy reported Monday. "Many Chinese people, with some collective memory or what one-man rule was like under Mao [Zedong], might justifiably be sceptical".

China's ruling Communist Party has proposed scrapping the ten-year term limit for the President, in a move nearly certain to be written into the country's constitution in March.

His comments came as reports said Chinese censors were deleting satirical comments about the CPC's move.

Ending term limits would represent the biggest political change in the country in decades.

The new draft amendments to China's Constitution, which include abolishing the term limits as well adding Xi's signature political treatise to the Constitution's preamble, were apparently approved by the Communist Party a month ago.

Or, some speculated, he may simply wish to retain near-absolute power for as long as possible.

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Politicians who accumulate unrivaled and unchecked power usually refuse to give it up; they often assert - and some may truly believe - that they are indispensable.

President Xi Jinping's anti-corruption campaign is not finished yet, and his effort at equalising wealth by redistributing resources to rural areas has just begun.

"As the leader, he has done pretty well in terms of reform and economic growth", said Liu, 67.

It was Deng who instituted the policy of Chinese leaders voluntarily passing their power to successors. That the National Congress will most likely adopt the proposed changes nearly goes without saying; after all, it has never rejected any motions by China's leadership.

Beijing has accused Trump of undermining the global system for regulating trade by taking action under USA laws instead of through the World Trade Organization.

"The most reliable legitimacy of Chinese Communist Party is nationalism." he said.

The statements indicating discontent on the move to extend the term limit, started making rounds shortly after lawmakers declared they were looking into the possibility.

I actually think the jury is still out on that and we will have to see. "In the long run, however, this will probably further complicate the perennial problem that authoritarian states confront in finding a way to peacefully and orderly transfer power". Effectively what this means is that nobody in the party holds more authority than Xi.

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While the presidency is seen as the least important of the three roles Xi now performs, the removal of the term limit would mean the greatest accumulation of personal power by a leader in China since Mao Zedong, who founded the People's Republic.

Nearly exactly five years ago, a newly anointed President Xi Jinping met his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, and declared they shared similar "personalities".

But there is no chance that next week's rubber-stamp session of parliament will vote against the proposal made by the party's Central Committee.

Lam, however, warned that Xi should be wary of overextending his reach, predicting that a serious misstep by the Chinese leader could provoke his downfall at the hands of his nemeses.

At last year's party congress, Xi hailed a "new era" under his leadership and laid out his vision of a ruling party that serves as the vanguard for everything from defending national security to providing moral guidance to ordinary Chinese.

China's leader Xi Jinping could stay in power indefinitely under proposed changes to the country's constitution.

The Xi administration's iron-fisted rule has oppressed the country's civil society, silencing many scholars, lawyers and citizen activists. While the move has been heavily criticized, it's also been a boon for Chinese speculators.

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