Xi is China's President for life

Xi is China's President for life

China's legislature voted nearly unanimously on Sunday in favour of changing the country's constitution to remove presidential and vice-presidential term limits, formally allowing Xi Jinping to stay on as head of state beyond 2023.

Chinese President Xi Jinping prepares to vote during the third plenary session of the first session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 11, 2018.

China's plan for President Xi Jinping to remain in office sets off an outcry online with bloggers drawing comparisons to North Korea's ruling dynasty and other dictators.

Though the AP adds, "To be sure, Xi's confident, populist leadership style and tough attitude toward official corruption has won him a significant degree of popular support".

Xi, who also serves as leader of the Communist Party and head of its Central Military Commission, has aimed to meld the party and the state more closely together in order "to provide China with the domestic political machine to achieve his global ambitions", said Jonathan Fenby, a researcher with TS Lombard in London.

By getting enshrined in the Party's constitution, President Xi Jinping has emerged as the most powerful leader in the world's largest one-party, totalitarian, communist state.

The National People's Congress passed the constitutional amendments with 2,958 votes in favour, only two against, and three abstentions. For most optimistic, who have tried to see a glimpse of reforms announced by Liu he in Davos, it should be recalled that context in which greater opening of China in constitutional amendment is expected to be an outward view, that is to say of presence of China and n outside and not foreign presence in China.

The Communist Party's power-broking congress in October confirmed Xi's induction into the leadership pantheon alongside Mao and market reformer Deng Xiaoping by writing his name and political ideology into the party's constitution.

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President Xi Jinping has become a strong face in China's politics.

Predictably, Chinese state media is trumpeting Xi's move.

"In the long run, the change may bring some uncertainties, like "key man" risk", Yanmei Xie, a China policy analyst for Gavekel Dragonomics in Beijing, said before the vote.

The Communist Party's dominance over all aspects of society has been Xi's aim for years, as outlined by his close ally, Wang Qishan, who used to head the feared anti-graft commission.

Tom Rafferty, China regional manager for the Economist Intelligence Unit, said repealing the restriction on the president's term reduced the chances that the next leadership transition would be as orderly as those in 2002 and 2012. I was discussing with my friends and we were enraged.

But the vote sparked some negative comments on Twitter-like Weibo, with one user defying censors to write "we're over" while another said "we are back in the Qing Dynasty", referring to China's last imperial era. The move blocked the emergence of an alternative leader, put unbridled power over the party, the military and the state administration in Xi's hands for years to come.

The most recent amendment in 2004 protected private property and human rights, and gave the Theory of Three Represents constitutional authority.

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