China Mulls Proposal to Remove Two-Term Limit for President

There has been persistent speculation that Xi wants to stay on in office past the customary two five-year terms.  

Published
World
2 min read
Chinese President Xi Jinping.
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China’s Central Committee proposed on Sunday, 25 February, to remove a limit of two consecutive terms for the president and vice president, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The committee proposed removing the clause “shall serve no more than two consecutive terms” from the constitution, Xinhua reported.

The Central Committee also proposed inserting “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” into the constitution, Xinhua said in a separate statement, referring to President Xi.

Xi, 64, is currently required by the country's constitution to step down as president after two five-year terms. Nearing the end of his first term, he will be formally elected to a second at the annual meeting of China's largely rubber-stamp parliament opening on 5 March.

There is no limit on his tenure as the party and military chief, though a maximum 10-year term is the norm. He began his second term as head of the party and military in October at the end of a once-every-five-years party congress.

Constitutional reform needs to be approved by parliament. That is stacked with members chosen for their loyalty to the party, meaning the reform will not be blocked.

There has been persistent speculation that Xi wants to stay on in office past the customary two five-year terms.

One of his closest political allies, former top graft buster Wang Qishan, stepped down from the party's Standing Committee – the seven-man body that runs China – in October.

Aged 69, Wang had reached the age at which top officials tend to retire. But he has been chosen as a parliament delegate this year and is likely to become vice president, sources with ties to the leadership and diplomats say.

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