BEIJING — China’s National People’s Congress on Sunday approved a plan to abolish presidential term limits, making it possible for President Xi Jinping to stay in power indefinitely and cementing a dramatic shift in Chinese politics.
At Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, on the western edge of Tiananmen Square, 2,964 delegates cast their votes, with 2,958 in favor of the constitutional amendment, two against, and three abstentions and one invalid vote.
The ballot, which was largely symbolic, came two weeks after Communist Party-controlled media announced the proposal. It included other changes designed to put Xi and the party at the very heart of Chinese life.
It is the clearest evidence yet that Xi plans to rule beyond the end of this second term, in 2023, taking China back to the era of one-man rule just as it steps up its role in global politics.
“It means that Xi is now unquestionably a Leninist strongman,” Steve Tsang, director of the China Institute at SOAS University of London. Xi, unlike his predecessor, is not first among equals but “lord and master of them all.”
Though state-controlled media insisted that the constitutional changes had “won the hearts of the people,” the news spurred a wave of public worry about a return to the despotic politics of the past.
“It’s a historic
Article source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/china-approves-plan-to-abolish-presidential-term-limits-clearing-way-for-xi-to-stay-on/2018/03/11/973c7ab2-24f0-11e8-a589-763893265565_story.html
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