SAN FRANCISCO, March 11, (THEWILL) – China on Sunday removed term limits from its constitution, paving the way for Xi Jinping to remain President for as long as possible.
The move reverses the era of ‘collective’ leadership and orderly succession that was promoted by late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping to ensure stability following the turbulent one-man rule of Communist China’s founder Mao Zedong.
The limit of two five-year presidential terms was written into China’s constitution in 1976 by Xiaoping and Xi’s term in office was meant to end in 2023 having begun his second five-year term as party chief in October.
However, the decision was made by the Chinese parliament when it passed a series of constitutional amendments.
Of the 2,964 votes cast, 2,958 were in favour, two were against and three abstentions were recorded.
Xi stood up first at the imposing Great Hall of the People in Beijing to cast his paper ballot in a red box, as delegates of the National People’s Congress applauded after each vote on the constitutional amendment to lift the two five-year term limit for the presidency.