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China president could stay in office indefinitely

26 February, 2018

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BChina president could stay in office indefinitelyEIJING: China president could stay in office indefinitely after the Communist Party called for the removal of presidential term limits. Xi, who is also party chief, has been president since 2013 and the 64-year-old leader would have to step down in 2023 under the current system.

But the party’s Central Committee proposed deleting from the constitution the stipulation that a president “shall serve no more than two consecutive terms” of five years, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday.

The proposed change, which would also apply to the vice president, will be submitted to legislators at the annual full session of the National People’s Congress starting March 5. Xi is expected to be given a second term in office during the two-week-long session.

At the 19th five-yearly Communist Party congress last October, Xi unveiled a new seven-member Politburo Standing Committee. He was also given the customary second term as party general secretary, a job which does not have a formal term limit.

Xi also saw his political philosophy – Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era – included in the party’s charter, an honour only accorded to one previous leader, Mao, during his lifetime.

The Central Committee also proposed adding Xi’s “thought” to the national constitution, joining Mao again.

Since taking over as party general secretary in late 2012, Xi has waged a battle against corruption, which has seen more than one million people punished.

A major outcome of the 19th Party Congress was the decision to establish a new anti-graft agency, the National Supervisory Commission, that will coordinate investigations at all levels of government and expand its remit to include non-party members.

The Central Committee proposed listing the commission as a new state organ in the constitution.

Xi told party officials on Saturday the constitution was key to building a moderately prosperous society, building a modern socialist country and realising the “Chinese dream of national rejuvenation” – his slogan to restore the nation to its former glory.

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