Xi free to lead indefinitely

CHINA’S rubber-stamp lawmakers have passed a historic constitutional amendment abolishing a presidential two-term limit that will enable Xi Jinping (習近平) to rule indefinitely.
Among the National People’s Congress’s (全國人大) nearly 3,000 hand-picked delegates, 2,958 voted in favour, with two opposed, three abstaining and one vote invalidated.
The legislature’s spokesman has said the abolishing of 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 (中央軍事委員會), which do not impose term limits.
A number of prominent Chinese figures have publicly protested the move, despite the risk of official retaliation. A university professor said the more Xi Jinping’s position is consolidated and the longer his governing time is to last, the more secure it is for the continuity of the policies.
The move is widely seen as the culmination of Xi’s efforts since being appointed leader of the party in 2012 to concentrate power in his own hands and defy norms of collective leadership established over the past two decades.
A Beijing investment firm vice president said it was easier for Xi to carry out his ambitious vision of raising living standards in China if more power were concentrated in his hands, but was concerned that the change could stifle dissenting voices.

(This article is published on Junior Standard on 19 March 2018)

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