Power grab by China's Xi Jinping: President for life?

Power grab by China's Xi Jinping: President for life?

Today, 3,000 lawmakers of China's legislature will start a two-week session in Beijing to formalise high level government appointments and officially approve the removal of constitutional term limits for President Xi Jinping.

During his time as president, Donald Trump has improved dramatically at giving scripted comments, which is a learning curve most people master when giving middle school reports, but hey, progress is progress.

The passing of the legislation would effectively undo decades of efforts to prevent a return to dictatorship. The limit of two five-year presidential terms was written into China's constitution after Mao Zedong's death in 1976 by Deng Xiaoping, who recognised the dangers of one-man rule and the cult of personality and instead espoused collective leadership. The Communist Party announced the planned amendment February 25, in a surprising break with succession practices set up after Mao Zedong's fraught tenure.

President Xi Jinping's top economic aide, Liu He, met with United States officials at the White House this week to discuss the fraught economic relationship.

On Sunday, the NPC spokesman, Mr. Zhang, told journalists that the removal of the term limit, contrary to reports in some quarters that the change will lead to imminent autocracy, is only aimed at bringing the office of the president in line with Xi's other positions atop the party and the Central Military Commission, which do not impose term limits. About 70% of its delegates - and nearly all its senior figures - are also Communist party members. It is conducive to uphold the authority of the Central Committee of the party with Xi Jinping at the core and also unified leadership. His comments came amid growing China-US discord over Trump's announcement of increasing tariffs over US imports of steel and aluminium.

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He is "president for life"; "Maybe we'll give that a shot some day".

In closed-door remarks at his Mar-a-Lago golf club on Saturday, Trump praised the Chinese president's recent power grab and said he wouldn't mind trying it himself, according to CNN, which managed to obtain a recording.

"I think it's great", Trump added. President for life. And he's great.

He said it had little practical advantage apart from allowing Mr Xi to make state visits overseas after 2023 when his second term ends, but would reduce the scope for internal debate and so increase the risk of making mistakes. Xi, the 64-year-old head of the ruling Communist Party, is poised to shake up Chinese politics by signing off of the removal of two-term limits for presidents and vice presidents. He urged Beijing's lawmakers to exercise their power by rejecting the amendment. The Chinese public has grown accustomed to some measure of public debate about new laws or changes to existing laws, as some plans go through three or even four readings prior to a final vote.

Abroad, China is faced with maintaining stability and avoiding the outbreak of war on the neighboring Korean Peninsula.

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