In case you didn’t already hear, China recently removed the 2-term limit for holding a seat in presidency, effectively allowing Xi Jinping to remain incumbent president forever.
As most people already know, the People’s Republic of China is a communist country, governed by the National People’s Congress (NPC), the President, and the State Council. While the three entities work together to pass any legislation, the majority of the power rests with the President, who currently also holds positions as the general secretary of the party, and the chairman of the armed forces. Neither of these seats currently hold any term limits, therefore effectively allowing Xi to retain power in all three areas indefinitely.
The 5 year, 2-term limit was originally implemented in 1982 by Deng Xiaoping following the reign of Chairman Mao Zendong, to ensure that a similar situation could not be repeated.
Since the initial proposition, reporters and countries alike have passed their opinions on why this would be a bad idea. Solidifying the “trinity of leadership positions” held by Xi only strengthens his power as the president.
Going in to the vote however, it was easily assumed that the idea wouldn’t face much opposition internally, as most of the people involved already sided with the party. During his initial climb to the top, Xi had been able to quickly gain favor with the people mainly through his anti-corruption campaign.
Therefore, it wasn’t much of a surprise when 2958 voted in favor of the removal of the term limit, with only 2 voting against and 3 abstaining.
Additional constitutional amendments by the NPC were also made the same day, including the addition of “Xi Jinping Thought,” the President’s political philosophy, to the constitution.
Moving forward from this monumental day we can’t help but wonder what this could mean for China, her neighbours, and the rest of the world. While the party emphasizes that this is a crucial change in order to solidify the strength of the party, one can’t help but look back in time and compare to the many other rulers who were able to gather so much power, so quickly.
One can’t say for sure how this will end, but surely should the situation be reversed, and it was a country like America who had made a similar choice, people might have a lot more to say about it.