Wednesday 18/09/2019 - 03:42 am

China"s Xi Jinping could rule as president indefinitely

2018.02.27 03:11

Chinas ruling Communist Party has proposed removing a limit of two consecutive terms for the countrys president, the official news agency said Sunday, appearing to lay the groundwork for party leader Xi Jinping to rule as president beyond 2023.

The partys Central Committee proposed to remove from the constitution the expression that Chinas president and vice president "shall serve no more than two consecutive terms," the Xinhua News Agency said in a brief report. It provided no further details.

The announcement came before the Central Committee was to begin a three-day meeting in Beijing on Monday to discuss major personnel appointments and other issues.

Xis status as the most powerful Chinese leader in a generation was cemented at last years party congress, where he was given a second five-year term as general secretary.

Ahead of the party congress, Xi had been shoring up his authority and sidelining rivals, leaving him primed to press his agenda of tightened state control and muscular diplomacy. That included a push to insert his thoughts on theoretical matters into the party constitution and further cultivate a burgeoning cult of personality that could allow him to hold on to power beyond his second term.

The son of a famed communist elder, Xi rose through the ranks to the position of Shanghais party leader before being promoted to the all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee in 2007.

When Xi did assume the top spot in 2012, it was as head of a reduced seven-member committee on which he had only one reliable ally, veteran Wang Qishan. He put Wang in charge of a sweeping anti-corruption crackdown that helped Xi eliminate challengers, both serving and retired, and cow potential opponents.

Xi, whose titles include head of the armed forces, has lavished attention on the military with parades and defense budget increases. But hes also led a crackdown on abuses and a push to cut 300,000 personnel from the 2.3 million-member Peoples Liberation Army, underscoring his ability to prevail against entrenched interests.

At the same time, Xi has added to his resume additional titles as leader of more than a half dozen special commissions overseeing areas from national security to foreign policy.

In a move carrying enormous symbolic weight, Xi last year took on the mantle of "core" of the party leadership, elevating him above his peers in a manner redolent of communist Chinas founder, Mao Zedong.

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