China Poised to Eliminate Presidential Term Limits

China’s next ideological front

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".

The United States and China have one of the world's biggest trading relationships but a steady series of multibillion-dollar Chinese trade surpluses has fueled complaints about Beijing's market barriers and demands for restrictions on USA imports from China.

Tucked in the 14th proposed change was the constitutional greenlight for a future circumstance many observers already expect - Xi Jinping staying in power after his second term as president ends.

The comments, reported by the Kremlin news service but not by Chinese state media, went largely unnoticed at the time.

Li told the Associated Press on Tuesday: "If there are no term limits on a country's highest leader, then we are returning to an imperial regime".

Given that the Communist Party allows no opposition parties and suppresses dissenting political voices, the proposal is expected to be passed by China's rubber-stamp Parliament in early March.

The abolition of the two five-year term limit on China's president has been incorporated in a proposed constitutional amendment draft.

Or, some speculated, he may simply wish to retain near-absolute power for as long as possible.

Many of his political proteges have been awarded key central and local posts. We need to build on the concept of India being a leading power in the region and the World and accordingly India should build partnership with like-minded countries as has been proposed in the quadrilateral partnership with Australia, Japan and U.S. for "free and open Indo-Pacific".

Though the move may clear the way for a strong ruler to stay on indefinitely, analysts said, it might indicate an insecurity about Xi's grip on power, and it could harm China when it's time to choose Xi's successor. He cited Liu He, Xi's top economic adviser, who is meeting US officials in Washington this week to discuss economic relations amid disputes over steel, technology and other issues. Others have noted that Xi needs to concentrate more power in his hands in order to force through wrenching economic reforms.

"I think that President Xi is unique".

But many Chinese I speak with are anxious.

But Xi places considerable stress on the law as a justification for, and tool of, Communist Party rule. "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 move to abolish term limits also comes as Xi has increasingly sought to consolidate power. The party does not impose term limits on this position, though traditionally leaders have not accepted new terms after age 68; Xi will be 69 in 2022, the start of his likely third term as general secretary. Party spokespeople reject such talk, insisting Xi is the core of its seven-member Standing Committee, not a lone strongman.

Recent months have also seen a growing number of references in state media to Xi as "leader", a minimalist title reserved up until now for Mao.

At last year's party congress, Xi hailed a "new era" under his leadership and laid out his vision of a ruling party that serves as the vanguard for everything from defending national security to providing moral guidance to ordinary Chinese.

Jean-Pierre Cabestan, an expert on Chinese politics and a professor at Hong Kong Baptist University, said that while "the good news is that Xi can make and impose many decisions on his peers or subordinates, including a detente with Japan", the concentration of power would likely prevent the Communist Party's leadership from questioning "any abuse of power ... or adventurous foreign policy decision" by Xi.

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