The Chinese communists announced this weekend that the party will scrap term limits for President Xi Jinping.
The Times of India reported:
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In a move that is bound to have significant ramifications for China, with possible fallout for the rest of the world, the Chinese Communist Party has proposed an amendment to China’s constitution that will scrap term limits for the posts of president and vice-president. Currently they are entitled to serve a maximum of two consecutive terms in office, a practice institutionalised by China’s 1982 constitution. The move to scrap this provision is widely being seen as a measure to ensure that current President Xi Jinping remains in office beyond 2023, with no limit prescribed.
There’s no denying that since he assumed the top post in the Chinese political hierarchy in 2012-13, Xi has been steadily consolidating power. Over the last five years, Xi’s massive anti-corruption purge has netted more than a million officials, generals and politicians. Conveniently, the graft drive also swept aside most of Xi’s potential rivals, giving him a free hand to stamp his authority on the party-state system.
But this accumulation of power by Xi subverts a 30-year-old understanding on collective leadership within the Chinese Communist Party. There could be two reasons for this – either Xi himself is afraid of being purged once he demits office or the Chinese system has simply run its course. In fact, it’s quite possible that consensual one-party leadership – an oddity in a communist country – only worked in an environment of continuous high growth. But with the Chinese economy slowing down and a burgeoning Chinese middle class demanding much more from government, the party-state system is up against massive contradictions. Xi perhaps feels he can handle them only by tightening his hold on power.