China suppresses criticism of revised constitution

What Xi Jinping's power play means for China's economy

The following sentence was also added in the Constitution to stress the overall CPC leadership: "The leadership of the Communist Party of China is the defining feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics".

Voting among the National People's Congress' almost 3,000 hand-picked delegates began in the mid-afternoon, with Xi leading members of the Communist Party's seven-member all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee in casting their votes.

Tseng Chien-yuan, an associate professor at Chung Hua University in Taiwan says that under such circumstances, who would dare to challenge or transcend Xi or offer him any advice on national development. "But from America's perspective, this administration has been very clear of pushing back against the Chinese threat".

President Xi Jinping of China is poised to rule the country indefinitely after Chinese lawmakers passed changes to the country's constitution abolishing presidential term limits.

Communist Party leaders argue changes to Article 79 of the constitution are necessary because other key positions Xi holds as party chairman and head of its Central Military Commission have no term limits.

The amendment has enriched clauses on the patriotic united front, harmonious relations among ethnic groups, and peaceful foreign policies, including the addition of building a community with a shared future for humanity. One would write into the constitution the term "community of common destiny", also sometimes referred to as the "community of shared future" (命运共同体), an amorphous concept that places China at the center of a harmonious global community of peace and prosperity, in implicit contrast with the United States' hegemonic, self-interested control of the present worldwide system (China Brief, February 26, 2018).

Unlike most countries, China's armed forces are permanently under the control of the ruling Communist Party, rather than the state.

"Throughout history, only Chinese emperors and Mao Zedong had lifelong tenure until their deaths", Li said. Two-thirds must vote yes to pass. However, many have anxious about the possible return of China to despotic eras.

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But seeing Turkey's adamant position, they did not find [the] resolve to do so, "he added". When Ankara reaches it, the troops will be pulled out of the country, he stated.

He dismissed the removal of term limits, for both president and vice-president, as a mere housekeeping item, aimed at "optimizing the leading structure of the country". "Writing a living person's name into the constitution is not amending the constitution but destroying it".

"President Xi's thought is the latest achievement in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context and encapsulates the practical experience and collective wisdom of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the people, he added".

A Chinese student at the University of Sydney said his peers had a range of views on the constitutional changes.

"That doesn't bode well for hard reforms ahead: Will the [Communist Party] be able to raise the retirement age?"

The posters have featured phrases such as "Not My President" and "I Disagree".

"If Xi is right, he will be more effective in getting his policies implemented", Tsang continued. In the past three decades, constitutional changes have nudged China toward western norms by legalizing the private economy, protecting individual property rights and even enshrining human rights.

Term limits were first introduced in 1982 to prevent a repeat of the horrors of the Mao era - and opponents call the decision to scrap them "a calamity that risks plunging China into a new age of political turbulence and one-man dictatorship", reports the Guardian.

Chinese authorities have been unwilling to countenance criticism of the change, on Sunday going so far as to refuse to translate a reference in a question to the "Cultural Revolution", a period of murderous upheaval under Mao.

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