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Proposal to change Chinese president's term limits

26 February 2018

It said the proposal was made public Sunday.

The son of a famed communist elder, Xi rose through the ranks to the position of Shanghai's party leader before being promoted to the all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee in 2007. Along with the president, the changed constitution of Communist Party will also be applied to the Vice President.

Earlier this year, the party mouthpiece People's Daily newspaper further solidified Xi's elevation when it published a piece referring to the president as "lingxiu" - a highly reverential Mao-era honorific title. It is a three-day meeting of top heads of Communist Party that this time is going to be held months in advance: Having continued tradition of last three decades, it would have taken place next autumn.

Xi is coming to the end of his first five-year term as president and is set to be appointed to his second term at an annual meeting of the National People's Congress that starts on Monday next week.

There are indications that Chinese people who have observed an increase in repression of political speech and Western culture generally are alarmed by the possibility of an eternal President Xi Jinping.

The committee proposed removing the clause "shall serve no more than two consecutive terms" from the constitution, Xinhua reported.

"If two terms are not enough, then they can write in a third term, but there needs to be a limit. Getting rid of it is not good!"

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Xi will be 69 when the next Communist Party congress convenes in 2022.

The Central Committee has also proposed listing the National Supervisory Commission as a new organ in the Constitution. The change is momentous because it confirms Xi Jinping has become the country's most powerful leader since Mao Zedong. It has not been used since.

"The real power in China is in the general secretaryship. It is not where the real power is", said Prof Tsang. Here what matters is whether you are the emperor. Therefore, the CCP should think carefully before rubber-stamping the desires of Xi because power concentration under a single individual bodes ill for the people of China.

Chinese flag is seen in front of the financial district of Pudong amid heavy smog in Shanghai, China, December 23, 2015.

This consolidation of power recalls the clout held by Chairman Mao Zedong, the founder of modern China who launched the tumultuous Cultural Revolution during the 1960s and '70s. "From anti-corruption campaign to comprehensively advancing the rule of law to profound economic restructuring, the CPC Central Committee with Xi at the core has sturdily opened a new era for a hopeful China". Distinct from the standard usage of "lingdao" for leader, "lingxiu" evokes grander, nearly spiritual, connotations. That was a clear message by Xi that he had not yet decided on a successor.

According to, the top five censored topics on China's Weibo social media app, which is similar to Twitter, are all related to the proposed amendment to the president's term in office. The party has been laying the groundwork for Xi not to have to go. A successor is also normally settled on five years before the president steps down to avoid a power struggle. Wang, in the end, didn't remain on the PSC-though there's still a chance that he may not actually retire.

Proposal to change Chinese president's term limits