China makes historic move to allow Xi to rule indefinitely

Glen Norman
March 13, 2018

Another three abstained. And the ballot cast by one other person was judged invalid.

The fifth of the proposed amendments also confirms the importance of the Communist Party as the instrument by which Xi Jinping Thought is to be enacted; it changes the second line of the Constitution's first article from "the socialist system is the basic system of the People's Republic of China" to "the leadership of the Communist Party of China is the most essential feature of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics".

Nearly 3000 delegates voted to make proposed amendments to the constitution, one of which included the removal of the term limit to the presidency. It also ties the world's most populous country more closely to the fate of a single man than at any point since reformer Deng Xiaoping began establishing a system for peaceful power transitions in the aftermath of Mao's death.

It is now hard to see Xi Jinping being challenged in any way whatsoever.

Axios contributor Bill Bishop says: "Xi is working to obliterate any boundaries between party and state and to reinsert the Communist Party of China (CPC) into all aspects of China's economy and society - all while ensuring he's the unchallenged embodiment of the CPC".

Together, the amendments underscore the altered direction China has taken under Mr. Xi.

The U.S. -based group Human Rights in China said there were huge risks in allowing such a concentration of power. It would place him above the rest of the leaders of the party.

On Sunday, those who voted for the changes defended them as necessary.

"Term limits, avoidance of a cult of personality, and the end of routine political purges - all of these were part of China's reform-era leaders' efforts to steer the nation out of the chaos and instability of the Maoist era", said Carl Minzner, a professor of law at Fordham University in NY and author of a new book on Xi's authoritarianism.

"As for the assumptions, conjecture and stretched situations in your question, I think that does not exist", Mr Shen said. "Your speculations actually have no basis of existence". Liu was a puppet President and fell out of favour during Mao's Cultural Revolution. Two-thirds must vote yes to pass.

The National People's Congress (NPC) has kept its reputation as the rubber stamp parliament for its routine approval of CPC proposals by voting exactly to the official script.

Mr. Xi has been accused of turning China into a "neo-totalitarian state".

A small but growing number of Western academics and government analysts who spent decades looking for signs that China was becoming a democracy now say those perceived markers may have been no more than a mirage. In China, it has won comparisons to "Eastern Depot", a secret police apparatus with vast powers used by Ming dynasty emperors to eliminate dissent. Li Datong, a former senior editor at the official China Youth Daily newspaper, wrote a public letter urging legislators to oppose the move, which he said made China vulnerable to repeating power struggles of the past. The National Supervision Committee will stand alongside the CCDI, and extend the reach of the country's graft-busters.

The people's congresses and their standing committees in these cities will be able to adopt local laws and regulations under the condition that they do not contradict the Constitution, national laws and regulations, and provincial laws and regulations, according to the amendment.

"Yet some people in the West insist otherwise, even though it is only through specious speculation that they claim to know better", the English-language paper said.

But, he added, "there's no doubt that we will also severely punish corrupted people who refuse to restrain themselves and behave".

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