China to Consider Banning Term Limits on President

By: Katherine Hewitt
Impunity Watch Reporter, Asia

BEIJING, China – At the Party Congress meeting held in late 2017, no successor was named for Chinese President, Xi Jinping. At the time this broke with tradition and left many people with questions about the future of Chinese leadership and governance.

Image of Chinese President, Xi Jinping. Photo Courtesy of Chris Ratcliffe.

In late February 2018, the Communist Party of China provided an answer to the questions. In a meeting, the party proposed to do away with term limits on the President of China. Since 1982, the numbers of years a president could serve was restricted to two five-year terms. Now, Jinping could be president for life. Some are likening his power and prestige to former Chairman of the Communist Party of China, Mao Zedong.

It is suspected that this proposal will be accepted at the March 5, 2018 meeting. Analysts believe that the Party Congress will justify this action by referencing that Jinping desires a modern and wealthy China by 2050 and only he can deliver on that promise. Hu Xingdou, a political commentator in Beijing, says that keeping Jinping in power “is beneficial to pushing forward reforms and the fight against corruption, but it’s impossible for China to have lifetime tenure again.” He believes term limits will return once Jinping leaves power.

For more information please visit: 

NPR – China Plans To Abolish Term Limits For President Xi Jinping – 28 February 2018

The Diplomat – The CCP’s Proposed Term Limit Change Shocks China – 26 February 2018

Time – Proposal to Scrap China’s Term Limits Could Allow President Xi Jinping to Stay in Office – 25 February 2018

Author: Katherine Hewitt

Katherine Hewitt is a first year Masters of Arts in International Affairs candidate in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. She is pursuing a concentration in Peace, Security, and Conflict. Her interests lie in ethnic conflicts, particularly in the Post-Soviet Sphere. She expects to graduate in December 2018.

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