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NPC abolishes presidential term limits

NPC abolishes presidential term limits

Not only was Xi given the green light to remain as president beyond his second term, which ends in 2023, but his "Xi Jinping Thought" was also voted into the charter.

This constitutional change together with several others were voted upon by delegates of the National People's Congress, China's Parliament, at the third plenary meeting of the ongoing annual session.

The Communist Party's power-broking congress in October confirmed Xi's induction into the leadership pantheon alongside Mao and market reformer Deng Xiaoping by writing his name and political ideology into the party's constitution.

But those six were - like the lawyers, labour activists and human rights advocates who have questioned their country's direction under Mr. Xi in the past five years - swept away by the power of a Chinese president who has fashioned himself into a singular force of national leadership.

The term limit was written into the 1982 Constitution in the aftermath of the disastrous 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution in part to prevent the excesses of one-man rule of the Mao Zedong era.

The amendment to the Chinese Constitution to abolish term limits on the president has garnered an overwhelming 99.79 per cent of the vote, allowing President Xi Jinping to stay in office indefinitely. China's supreme law was last amended in 2004.

"I will definitely support this constitutional amendment and this government".

NPC abolishes presidential term limits

But with the new amendments, he could now have a lifetime to push his goal of turning China into a global economic powerhouse with a "world-class" military by mid-century.

"It is an important measure to priorities the coordination between the party, the military and the country", said Shen Chunyao, Chairman of the Commission for Legislative Affairs of the NPC Standing Committee.

The Chinese legislature gave a near-unanimous approval to the sweeping changes, with 2,958 votes in favor, and only two votes against, according to South China Morning Post. He told delegates from Guangdong Province on Wednesday that the amendment "effectively promotes democracy, gathers wisdom from all walks of life and shows the common will of the party", reported state-run People's Daily. Beyond concentration of power, it is hard to see a clear direction in use of it to carry out reforms that Chinese economy needs.

China's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, or CCDI, which has great latitude to investigate Communist Party members, has similarly been accused of acting with impunity, including through its use of extra-legal detention powers to subject people to extended sleep deprivation and other forms of psychological pressure.

That same year, he was appointed to the Politburo Standing Committee.

For India, observers say, Xi's continuation will have particular significance, especially in the backdrop of last year's 73-day-long Dokalam standoff where Chinese troops tried to build a road in the area claimed by Bhutan to reach close to India's narrow corridor connecting North Eastern states.

Activists fear that removing term limits may lead to a further tightening of already strict controls on media, civil society and religion, as Xi tries to impose his highly ideological vision of socialism on every aspect of society.