China’s ruling party proposes removing presidential term limits

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Our Correspondents

Beijing

China’s ruling Communist Party has proposed that the limit for presidents to serve only two terms be removed from the constitution.
The Communist Party’s Central Committee, whose 64-year-old chairman Xi Jinping is the president of the country, proposed the removal of a constitutional clause limiting presidential service to just two five-year terms on Sunday.
“The Communist Party of China Central Committee proposed to remove the expression that the President and Vice-President of the People’s Republic of China ‘shall serve no more than two consecutive terms’ from the country’s Constitution,” Xinhua said.
The fresh development comes just months after Xi was formally reappointed for his second term as head of the party and military at the end of a once-every-five-years party congress.
President Xi’s reappointment grants him a freer hand to achieve his ambition of turning China into a global superpower with a world-class military by mid-century. The Communist Party’s Central Committee also proposed inserting “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” into the constitution, Xinhua said in a separate report, referring to Xi’s guiding political thought that is already in the Communist Party constitution.
The ruling party gives President Xi Jinping a status unmatched by any Chinese leader in modern history except the country’s founder Mao Zedong.
The proposed changes need to be approved by the parliament where the Communists are in majority.
Meanwhile, one of Xi’s closest political allies, former top graft buster Wang Qishan, 69, who stepped down from the party’s Standing Committee — the seven-man body that runs China — in October last year, has been chosen as a parliament delegate this year and is likely to become vice president, diplomats and sources with ties to the Chinese leadership say.
If the parliament votes for the proposed changes, Xi could be able to stay in power for his lifetime.

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