China backs law allowing Xi to rule for life

China backs law allowing Xi to rule for life

China's legislature gave near-unanimous approval to sweeping changes to the constitution on Sunday, formally removing term limits to enable Xi Jinping to stay on as the president beyond 2023.

The amendment also inserted Xi's personal political philosophy into the preamble of the constitution and phrasing that emphasizes the leadership of the ruling Communist Party. Only two voted against and three abstained, signifying nearly total loyalty to Mr Xi's vision for strongman rule.

At today's National People's Congress meeting in the Great Hall of the People delegates voted 2,958 to 2 to endorse the constitutional amendment.

Observers say the constitutional amendment in effective pays the way for China's transition from being one-party state to one leader state with Xi, described by some as an Emperor, to remain in power in the foreseeable future. It is not a must for a working democracy, after all the U.K., Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Denmark and Norway are all constitutional monarchies, while in Japan and Canada prime ministers are under parliamentary control and face regular votes of confidence.

Before Sunday's vote in Beijing, U.S. President Donald Trump had joked that Xi was "now president for life".

Xi's power play was also foreshadowed at the twice-a-decade Communist Party Congress last October, when the party appointed five new members of the all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee, none of whom was young enough or had the credentials to become Xi's successor.

Trump valuta positivamente l'esito degli ultimi incontri tra le due Coree
Il primo contatto di Kim Jong-un con i funzionari del Sud allontana la ripresa delle manovre militari congiunte tra Seul e Washington .

The two-term limit on the presidency was introduced by Deng Xiaoping in 1982. "Therefore I don't think there is a problem or a question about this amendment draft". Xi Jinping will be 82 years when China reaches the stated objective of becoming a topmost innovative nation in 2035, and further beyond, a nation with global influence by 2050. The changes also allow for the creation of a powerful new law enforcement and ethics commission to police public servants, making permanent an anti-graft campaign that has punished more than 1.5 million officials. Despite China already not being a multi-party democracy, Xi wanted to get rid of all remaining checks and balances on his rule.

"In the long run, the change may bring some uncertainties, like "key man" risk", Yanmei Xie, a China policy analyst for Gavekel Dragonomics in Beijing, said before the vote. Xi is likely to promote Wang Qishan, the former anti-corruption czar, to the rank of vice-president later this week.

Shops sell commemorative plates and memorabilia with his image alongside Mao's and he has accumulated so many political and military titles - from president, to Central Military Commission chairman and party "core" - that he has earned the nickname "Chairman of Everything".

Contrary to being "surprising" as many are terming it, the removal of term limits on the office of the Chinese Presidency was only bound to happen.

The CPC has justified scrapping of term limits for Xi saying that it is aimed at strengthening coordination between the party, the military and the country and dismissed concerns of the return of Mao-era dictatorship as "groundless".

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