China’s ruling Communist Party has proposed amending the country’s constitution to get rid of term limits for its president, which would certainly enable President Xi Jinping to remain in power, possibly indefinitely.
The move, made by the party’s elite Central Committee, suggests Xi can be on the path to becoming the most powerful Chinese leader in more than a generation. (This specific can be overwhelmingly likely that will the proposal by the powerful body will be approved by the country’s rubber-stamp legislature as well as the cabinet.)
For close observers of China’s opaque politics, the move — while hugely significant — does not come as a shock. Xi, who took office in 2013, has spent the past few years consolidating his power along with also influence. His tenure has featured initiatives including a sprawling anti-corruption campaign along with also a vast program of international loans along with also infrastructure development projects called “One Belt One Road.”
A presidential term in China can be all 5 years, along with also This specific means 64-year-old Xi will likely be able to hang onto power longer than his two predecessors, Hu Jintao along with also Jiang Zemin. This specific’s particularly significant because the term limit was first imposed by former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping as a kind of protection against future leaders hanging onto power indefinitely inside the manner of Mao Zedong, who established a cult of personality.
The anti-corruption campaign, which Xi began soon after he took power, was one of the first signals of his ability to consolidate strength in a party whose secretive inner workings are dominated by shifting factions along with also alliances. The drive felled thousands of corrupt officials at many ranks of government as well as Xi’s political rivals, including the once-powerful domestic security czar Zhou Yongkang.
Xi has centralized control over the military along with also the foreign policy bureaucracy during his time in office. His administration has also imposed a crackdown on human rights along with also freedom of expression.
The news was widely shared on Chinese social media, along with also many people expressed approval. however there was also plenty of snark. On WeChat, a well-liked Chinese messaging app, a meme featuring Winnie the Pooh hugging a pot of honey — a stand-in for Xi embracing power — went viral.
Pooh has represented Xi to Chinese netizens since another meme compared the pudgy bear along with also his lanky friend Tigger to Xi along with also President Barack Obama in 2013. Chinese censors reportedly banned Pooh last summer, however the honeypot meme appeared to be circulating widely on Sunday night nonetheless.