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Xi Jinping nails down his status as China's top leader
March 24 2018, 07:51 | Irvin Gilbert
China Sets Stage For Indefinite Xi Tenure By Removing Term Limits
The head of State and Secretary General of Communist Party of China, Xi Jinping, is not only country's most powerful leader in decades: it is also going to be longest lasting in a long time.
While China's previous three presidents have brought through their potential successors in advance, to allow for a smoother transition to power, Xi is seen as having not promoted anyone young and with a suitable enough background to replace him.
When China's Central Committee met in January to discuss constitutional reforms, details about writing Xi's political thought into the country's constitution and establishing a new and powerful anti-corruption agency called the National Supervision Commission were clear.
Xi's supporters argue that new leadership arrangements are needed to provide stability and continuity of leadership, so that Xi Jinping can fulfill his grand ambitions of leading China into a national renaissance, and new era of modernity, prosperity and power.
China should make full use of the Constitution's important function in modernizing China's system and capacity for governance and strengthening the Party's long-term governance capacity, said Xi.
The party's charter does not set any term limit for general secretary, but the constitution prescribes no more than two consecutive terms for a president. Voice of America reports that Beijing has already begun censoring discussion of the term limit removal on Sina Weibo, one of the nation's most popular social media sites, as criticism of the move has surfaced.
He also required all of China's endeavors to follow the principle of law-based and Constitution-based governance in order to improve the implementation of the Constitution. And the only position with constitutionally mandated limits is that of the president.
Those who disbelieve the third-term speculation don't necessarily think that Xi is willing to relinquish his hold on power after 2022.
The Communist Party's decision confirmed that Xi enjoys massive influence over the entire Communist Party to be able to rewrite one of the most crucial aspects of the constitution. "We should expect Xi Jinping to be the dominant political force in China for the next decade".
Term limits on officeholders have been in place since they were included in the 1982 constitution, when lifetime tenure was abolished. "With Xi Jinping at the core of the Central Committee, the CPC has become stronger", it argued.
Analysts in Delhi believe that the world will have to pay "very close" attention to what President Xi thinks as he is likely to be the president of China for an indefinite period.
Yet veteran China watchers were less certain about when Xi might step down. Mr Xi is now the party's general secretary, but not chairman.
Xi, 64, has been China's president since 2013 and is expected to be formally re-elected at a meeting of the country's largely rubber-stamp legislature early next month.