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Xi Jinping abolishes the two-term limit on the presidency

Xi Jinping abolishes the two-term limit on the presidency

Posted February. 28, 2018 08:16,   

Updated February. 28, 2018 08:16


The Communist Party of China on Sunday proposed to remove a constitution clause limiting presidential service to just two terms (10 years at maximum) in office, inflaming public opinion in the country. Many Chinese are now concerned that the country could go back to the days when Mao Zedong had indefinite grip on power.

Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Professor and prominent sociologist Li Yinhe wrote in her blog that “Recovering the lifelong control is a regression of history. It is returning China to the days of Ma Zedong.” Li Datong, who is former editor-in-chief of a four-page weekly supplement of China Youth Daily, sent an official letter to 55 representatives of the people, including Beijing Mayor Chen Jining, appealing to vote against the Communist Party’s proposal when they attend the National People’s Congress scheduled to start next month. Wang Ying, a female entrepreneur, issued a statement saying, “The removal of presidential term limits is a betrayal and going against the times. I will not keep silent no matter how they require me to.” Tiananmen protest student leader Wang Dan, who exiled from China and now lives in the United States, said in his statement released with 100 Chinese scholars that “It has been revealed that Xi Jinping has had the ambition of becoming an emperor.”

The Asahi Shimbun of Japan reported Tuesday that Xi Jinping met with a strong opposition from former Chinese President Jiang Zemin in October last year when he suggested scrapping the presidential term limits right after the 19th National People’s Congress.

Sensitive words, such as “disagree,” “emigrate” and “to board a plane,” have become the subject to censorship at China's Twitter-like social network Weibo. This is because the number of the word “emigrate” being searched on the Internet has skyrocketed following the announcement of a list of proposed amendments to China’s constitution and the phrase “to board a plane” and “to ascend the throne” are homophonous. Words including lifelong control, ascension, long-term seizure of power and opposition to constitutional reform are blocked from Sina Weibo search results.

“It, along with at least 13 other internet news companies, had received edicts from authorities to prioritize articles supportive of the proposed constitutional change,” The Financial Times quoted an unnamed source at Baidu.

Wan-Jun Yun zeitung@donga.com