CHINA ON Sunday moved to extend the reign of Xi Jinping as president beyond his term limit of 2023, with the ruling Communist Party’s central committee proposing the removal from the constitution of a clause limiting the presidency to two five-year terms.
“The Communist Party of China Central Committee proposed to remove the expression that the President and Vice-President of the People’s Republic of China ‘shall serve no more than two consecutive terms’ from the country’s Constitution,” said an official announcement reported by state news agency Xinhua.
China’s constitution currently has set limits of two five-year terms for the president and the vice-president. The rule was initiated by Deng Xiaoping in the 1970s and has been strictly followed over the last four decades.
Xi Jinping, 64, assumed office in March 2013 and began his second term in October 2017. He is seen as the most powerful Chinese leader in the post Mao Zedong era.
The proposal has been prepared by the Communist Party of China’s Central Committee, which comprises the country’s top 200 party officials. The third plenary session of the central committee is expected to be held from February 26 to February 28 in Beijing.
The proposal will now be presented for approval before legislators at the full session of the National People’s Congress, which begins on March 5.
According to Xinhua, the politburo of the central committee, which met Saturday, decided to revise the draft of the party’s structural reform plan and submit it for review at the plenary session.
“While acknowledging its contributions, the leaders said the current structure of the party and state institutions was not good enough to meet the requirements for various tasks in the ‘new era’,” Xinhua reported.
The party’s central committee has also proposed incorporating Xi Jinping’s political theory “Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” in the country’s constitution.