China Defends Scrapping Presidential Term Limit

Glen Norman
March 5, 2018

Combined with Chinese President Xi Jinping's (習近平) plans to eliminate term limits on his rule and his consolidation of control over the military, the lack of public information about defense spending and military planning "pushes China toward a more authoritarian and militarized leadership", Jennings said.

Steel and aluminum imports into the United States are mostly used to produce low- and medium-tech products for civilian consumers, posing no harm to USA national security, according to Wang Hejun, head of the Remedy and Investigation Bureau of China's Ministry of Commerce.

NPC spokesman Zhang Yesui told a news conference that the move will merely align the presidency with the titles of Communist Party general secretary and Military Commission chairman, which do not have term limits.

While responding to Trump's declaration, spokesman for the National People's Congress, Zhang Yesui said China does not want a trade war with the United States, but insist if the U.S. takes actions that hurt Chinese interests, China will not sit idly by and will take necessary measures.

This weekend, China will begin its 2018 political season with the first plenary session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, and the first session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the country's advisory body, opening on March 5 and 3 respectively.

The move to limit steel and aluminum imports by the Trump administration would do a great disservice to multilateral trade mechanisms - such as those set up by the World Trade Organization - and deal a severe blow to existing order in global trade, Wang said. "Maybe we'll give that a shot some day".

It is conducive to uphold the authority of the Central Committee of the party with Xi Jinping at the core and also unified leadership.

Zhang, who previously served as an ambassador to the US, said policies "made on the basis of mistaken judgments" could hurt relations.

Ji pointed out that some Westerners, driven by paranoia about China's rise, are still prone to contain China's development through various means.

Mr Zhang acknowledged that China's defence budget is an "old question" that is raised every year.

Xi has consolidated power since taking office as party chief in 2012 but the move to lift presidential term limits surprised even the most experienced China watchers.

Amending the Constitution is a big event in the country's political life and a major legislative activity with wide-ranging implications, he said.

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