Scrapping two-term limit doesn't mean life-long tenure for Prez, says China's media
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Scrapping two-term limit doesn't mean life-long tenure for Prez, says China's media

The new amendment removing the term limit is set to be adopted in the Constitution once China’s rubber stamp Parliament, the National People’s Congress, convenes in Beijing on March 5.

world Updated: Mar 01, 2018 21:56 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times, Beijing
China,Xi Jinping,presidential term
File photo of Chinese President Xi Jinping speaking during a meeting between members of the Politburo Standing Committee and the press at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on October 25, 2017. (Reuters)

The removal of the two-term limit on the presidency doesn’t mean a life-long tenure for the president, the Communist Party of China’s top newspaper has said in the latest push to defend the move against the backdrop of domestic and international criticism.

An editorial published in the Communist Party’s official newspaper, People’s Daily, on Thursday said though the proposal was important, it did not change the party’s retirement system.

“This amendment does not mean changing the retirement system for party and national leaders, and does not mean a life-long term system for leading officials,” it said.

On Sunday, the Communist Party proposed the removal of a clause in the Constitution that limits a president to two consecutive terms. This means Xi - who did not name a successor during the once-in-five years party Congress in October - will continue after completing his second term.

“It is a system designed to accord with the national condition and ensure long-term peace and stability for the party and the country,” the editorial said.

The newspaper said the nation’s Constitution and the Communist Party’s constitution aren’t the same. For example, Xi’s ideology was included in the party’s constitution at the end of the Congress in October 2017.

“The Communist Party of China uses Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, the Scientific Outlook on Development, and Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as its guides to action,” the revised party constitution said at the end of the Congress.

The new amendment removing the term limit is set to be adopted in the Constitution once China’s rubber stamp Parliament, the National People’s Congress, convenes in Beijing on March 5.

The editorial “pointed out that the party's constitution, which is different from the national Constitution, clearly states that leaders cannot keep their offices forever and that if their health does not hold up they should retire”, Reuters reported.

The rules for who heads the party, the military and the state - all positions Xi currently holds - are the same, the newspaper said.

The propaganda push has failed to allay fears about China becoming a country with a leader with little accountability.

Xi is the Communist Party’s general secretary and one of the most powerful leaders China has seen in decades. It is all but impossible to foresee anyone challenging his authority in the coming years.

First Published: Mar 01, 2018 20:06 IST