The rise and rise of China’s President Xi Jinping is set to acquire a new momentum and reality as the Communist Party of China gears up to extend the presidential service beyond the two consecutive terms. This move to scrap two-term limit means that Xi Jinping could choose to rule the world’s second largest economy for his entire lifetime.
Mr Xinping has emerged as the most powerful leader of China since Mao Zedong and Den Xiaoping as was evident in his elevation to the CPC pantheon in the 19th Party Congress in November last year.
The abolition of the two-term limit on the tenure of the president means that China is staring at an indefinite leadership by Mr Jinping beyond 2023 when his second term ends. Getting such a proposal approved in the parliament that opens on March 5 is no difficult task since it is filled with Party loyalists. The 64-year-old Chinese leader secured a second five year term as the General Secretary of the CPC last year and this too may last well beyond the usual 10 year term.
The Xi Jinping Thought on “Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” is also expected to be added to the Constitution of China. His official ideological framework will now be equal to the Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory. The Xi Jinping Thought is already enshrined in the CPC constitution.
While Party loyalists have been cheering such a proposal, there is widespread criticism regarding the rise of such a strongman rule. Dissenting voices on Chinese social media compared such a move with the oppressive North Korean regime. The decision has not been well received in Hong Kong, which has been witnessing a pro-democracy movement. “The law may exist in China in form, but this just proves that the Chinese law exists to serve the individual and the party’s purposes”, said Mr Joshua Wong, one of the movement’s leaders.
As Mr Jinping leads China in an aggressive pursuit of power in the world, cementing his rule will only push him further towards realising his “China Dream”. Many analysts fear that it will aggravate China’s tense relationship with the US and other power centres in the world.
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