To Xinfinity and beyond...

Mar 12, 2018, 09:28 IST | Agencies

China abolishes two-term limit for Prez, paves way for his continuation in power, perhaps for life

Chinese President Xi Jinping. Pic/AFP
Chinese President Xi Jinping. Pic/AFP

China's one-party political landscape changed yesterday as the country's rubber-stamp parliament ratified a historic constitutional amendment abolishing the two-term limit for President Xi Jinping, paving the way for his continuation in power, perhaps for life.

Set for his second five-year term as President this month, 64-year-old Xi, the most powerful leader in recent decades heading the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) and the military, will now be the first Chinese leader after the founder chairman Mao Zedong to remain in power lifelong. The National People's Congress (NPC) has kept its reputation as the rubber stamp parliament for its routine approval of CPC proposals by voting exactly to the official script.

The two votes of dissent were apparently has the official sanction to show semblance of diversity. The first Constitution of China was enacted in 1954. The current Constitution has been in place since 1982 and has undergone four amendments in 1988, 1993, 1999 and 2004. The removal of the term limit was regarded as the biggest political change in the one-party system which remained in force in China since 1949. Significantly, yesterday's amendment also removed term-limits for the Vice
President.

The inclusion of the Vice President was notably aimed at reinforcing Xi's support base as his trusted lieutenant, Wang Qishan (69), is tipped to take over the post despite a widely-followed convention by Chinese leaders to retire after 68 years. Wang headed the dreaded anti-graft campaign carried out by Xi since he began his first term in 2013.

On pillow talk and corruption
President Xi Jinping has warned Chinese officials to shed "pillow talk" and ensure that they and their families refrain from indulging in corruption. In his interaction with the deputies of the National People's Congress (NPC), Xi said, "Don't let pillow talk lead you down to corruption. Don't let your children engage in self-dealing using your name. Don't be dragged into the 'muddy water' by people around you." "Officials should never indulge themselves, never cross the line, never break the rule, and improve immunity to corruption," he said.

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