Xi Jinping is president – for life

Photo credit to: http://www.bbc.com

China’s lawmakers passed an historic constitutional amendment on Sunday abolishing the two-term limit of the president but will now allow Xi Jinping to rule indefinitely.

 

This upends an old system created by former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in 1982 to prevent the bloody rule of a dictatorship under Mao Zedong’s 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution from happening again.

 

The National People’s Congress’ nearly 3,000 hand-picked delegates, voting began in the mid-afternoon. Leading members of the Communist Party’s seven-member all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee cast their votes.

 

Xi himself placed his orange ballot paper in a red box bearing the nation’s official seal and placed it front and center on the stage inside the hall.

 

Next, rank-and- file officers and personnel then rose to vote on the hall as instrumental music played. The process had ended ten minutes later and delegates were then asked to return to their seats while the votes were counted.

 

Government authorities have aggressively scrubbed social media outlets of expressions ranging from “I disagree” to “Xi Zedong.” Prominent Chinese figures have publicly protested the move, despite the risk of punishment from the government.

 

Officials have said that abolishing the president’s limits in office is aimed only at bringing the office of the president in line with Xi’s other positions atop the Communist Party and the Central Military Commission. These do not impose term limits.

 

While some scholars questioned the move, others said they saw value in sending the message that Xi would be setting good times for China’s future.

 

Xi’s leadership style and tough attitude toward official corruption have won him a significant degree of popular support among the citizens and the military.

 

A vice president of an investment firm in Beijing said it was easier for Xi to carry out his potential ambitions of raising living standards in China if more power were given to him.

 

Reference: China lawmakers pass historic constitutional amendment allowing Xi to rule indefinitely

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