China proposes removal of two-term limit for president


China's President Xi Jinping claps after his speech as he and other new Politburo Standing Committee members meet with the press at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China October 25, 2017.

The CPC Central Committee proposed removing the clause that the President and Vice-President "shall serve no more than two consecutive terms" from the country's Constitution, state-run Xinhua news agency reported today.

Under the current system, President Xi would have to step down after his second five-year term in office.

Earlier this year, the party mouthpiece People's Daily further cemented his elevation by publishing an article that for the first time referred to him as "lingxiu" - a Mao-era honorific with more reverential and spiritual connotations than the ordinary terms.

The announcement, carried by state news agency Xinhua, gave few details. Posts that parliament will need to give its official approval for include cabinet positions such as for premier and ministers and also the chiefs of regulators like the central bank.

If China's constitution is changed, and Xi serves another term, it could mean the Asian country's increasing importance on the world stage would continue to grow, economically, militarily, technologically and geopolitically. That is stacked with members chosen for their loyalty to the party, meaning the reform will not be blocked.

Current law restricts the president to two terms.

During the upcoming NPC meeting, Xi's anti-corruption crusader Wang Qishan, who is 69 and retired from the PSC, is expected to be made vice president.

The move is significant because if Wang does not retire, that could set a precedent for Xi to stay on in power after he completes the traditional two terms in office.

This will be the third plenary session of the party since a party congress ended in October with a slew of new senior party posts announced.

China's ruling Communist Party will hold a three-day meeting of its top officials starting on Monday to discuss deepening of reform, and will also likely decide on key personnel decisions ahead of a government reshuffle next month. Make a donation and help pay for our journalism.