China’s Xi Jinping moves to scrap presidential term limits amid corruption crackdown

By Billy

China’s president Xi Jinping would not appear to be looking forward to his retirement after the ruling Communist Party proposed removing the constitutional clause limiting presidential service to just two terms in office.

If the change goes through it could mean Xi can remain in office indefinitely — and possibly signalling a return to Mao-style dictatorship in China.

Many have compared the move to similar attacks on constitutional checks from Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan. There was a backlash on social media in the country with the fiercest critics drawing comparisons to North Korea’s ruling dynasty.

What was said:

Xinhua, China’s official news wire, reported:

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. The proposal was made public Sunday.

Why it matters:

Xi completes his first term as president next month after becoming president in 2013 and currently the constitution limits him to two terms in that office that amount to 10 years.

Since coming to power Xi has pursued an aggressive campaign against corruption and dissent, silencing many potential leadership rivals. While cementing his power Xi has also begun a global infrastructure plan called the Belt and Road Initiative, drastically reorganised the military, bulked up domestic security and enforced ideological purity in schools and media.

Xi has suggested he wants China to play a greater role on the world stage, laying out his plans for a globalist China at last year’s Davos World Economic Forum.

Corruption crackdown:

Meanwhile, the Chinese Communist Party increase disciplinary action by 45% year on year last month, following a 48% increase in December according to the Chinese Communist party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

The Financial Times reports the party disciplined 4,327 people last month and 7,329 in December.

Yesterday a senior Chinese politician was removed from his administrative positions and is under investigation for suspected “serious disciplinary violations”, Reuters has reported, citing local media.

Yang Jing will be kept under observation for one year, according to Xinhua.

He allegedly violated party discipline, had “inappropriate” relationships with illegal business owners, used his political influence to conduct illegal activities, and his family members allegedly took bribes.