China Communist Party proposes constitutional amendment to extend presidential term

Song Tao

Some people reacted with humor, circulating a Disney weibo post from 2013 showing Winnie the Pooh gleefully hugging a huge pot of honey, with the caption "Find the thing you love and stick with it".

All the while, Xi and Abe have clashed over a number of issues, including World War II history, North Korean nukes and, most notably, the South and East China seas.

However, according to the Associated Press, the proposal to end the two-term limit will likely be accepted at that same meeting. Key search topics such as "serve another term" were blocked, media reports said.

The country's rubber-stamp parliament, the National People's Congress, is all but certain to pass the amendment when it meets for its annual session early next month.

The move to get rid of the two-term limit on the presidency is certainly dramatic and would mark the biggest political move the party has made in decades, leaving the door open for Xi to rule well into the next decade, and possibly much beyond that.

A simple thirst for power is another possible motivation.

For all Xi's apparent dominance - achieved through a ruthless purge of rivals within China's political, military and security establishment - many experts believed that his political project is was not guaranteed to endure.

Jonathan Sullivan, director of the China Policy Institute at the University of Nottingham in England, said that although Xi consolidated power over his first term, this action is not "redolent of a despot like Mao".

"While there's not a huge institutional power base behind the [office of the] president, the actual position is. the conduct of foreign policy", Economy told Business Insider.

Other negative comments said that Mr Xi was presenting himself as a new "Emperor of China".

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

"This announcement on the one hand potentially means continuity, predictability, and stability".

"I think this is a sign of not leaving anything to chance, but is it creating a system that's too brittle to withstand external impacts without fracturing?"

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

This strategy is one Dreyer said China could eventually implement in the East China Sea, where Beijing and Tokyo are embroiled in a dispute over the Japanese-controlled Senkaku Islands, known in China as the Diaoyu.

Deng Xiaoping brought back term limits 1982 in an attempt to prevent one-man rule, something that the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution proved was disastrous. "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".

The term limit came about to ensure China's leaders didn't return to the days of Chairman Mao Zedong, the communist revolutionary who heavily centralized power.

While Xi, 64, is broadly popular in China for his economic stewardship, muscular foreign policy and emphasis on stability, it's hard to determine how the move to end term limits has been received overall. After the party presented the proposal Sunday, its nationalist organ published an op-ed arguing that the "Constitutional amendment will improve CPC [Communist Party of China] leadership".

In addition, Xi has already won two highly significant victories in being named the "core" of the current generation of party leaders, and having his eponymous governing philosophy inserted into the party constitution at last year's congress. If its leader maintains a dictatorial rule for long, the risks of policy rigidities and corruption will grow without a doubt. The whims of one man have rocked Communist China before; Xi's power grab makes it more probable that it will happen again.

The Xi administration's iron-fisted rule has oppressed the country's civil society, silencing many scholars, lawyers and citizen activists.

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