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Friday 22 June 2018

China proposes removing two-term limit for president

The move, if approved, appears to lay the groundwork for party leader Xi Jinping to rule as president beyond 2023.

(PA)
(PA)

By Associated Press Reporters

China’s ruling Communist Party has proposed removing a limit of two consecutive terms for the country’s president and vice president, according to the country’s state news agency.

The Xinhua News Agency said in a brief report that the party’s Central Committee proposed to remove from the constitution the expression that China’s president and vice president “shall serve no more than two consecutive terms”.

The move, if approved, appears to lay the groundwork for party leader Xi Jinping to rule as president beyond 2023.

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

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

Ahead of the party congress, Mr Xi had been shoring up his authority and sidelining rivals, leaving him primed to press his agenda of tightened state control.

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, Mr Xi rose through the ranks to the position of Shanghai’s party leader before being promoted to the all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee in 2007.

When Mr 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 Mr Wang in charge of a sweeping anti-corruption crackdown that helped Mr Xi eliminate challengers, both serving and retired, and cow potential opponents.

Press Association

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