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26 February 2018, 09:16 | Colleen Roy
Chinese Communist Party Proposes Removal of Presidential Term Limit
Experts predicted last October that Xi may seek to stay on as leader after he failed to unveil an obvious successor at a major party congress, appearing to break with an unwritten rule of two five-year terms as head of the party.
The constitution of China mandates the president to step down after serving 10 years as the head of the state.
"No organisation or individual has the power to overstep the Constitution or the law", Xi said on Saturday when presiding over a group study session of the political bureau of the CPC central committee.
China proposes removal of two-term limit clearing the way for President Xi Jinping to stay on as a "leader for life".
The Communist Party also proposed incorporating Xi's political thought into the Constitution.
The country's constitution was first adopted in 1982 and has not been amended since 2004.
64-year-old Xi Jinping is leading China since the year 2013 and would have to leave the President seat under the current system.
The announcement could pave the way for the party to redefine both of those roles, giving Xi and Wang a more solid base to exercise power, although the released draft did not touch on that area.
Sunday's move will make Xi much more powerful than he already was, and will dampen any remnants of resistance to his rule, said Zhang Baohui, professor of worldwide affairs at Lingnan University in Hong Kong.
The proposed constitutional changes were released in the name of the Central Committee, a council of hundreds of senior party officials, who will meet beginning Monday for three days.
"This move is also not without risk for Xi", Howie said. Attention at the plenum will also likely focus on Xi's pick to lead the Financial Stability Development Committee, which was created past year to tackle China's financial sector.
Xi has also been at the helm of a crackdown on corruption that analysts say was aimed at eliminating his rivals. Traditionally, Chinese leaders' powers weaken once they approach the second half of their second term, they said. At some point Xi could be given a party position that also enables him to stay on as long as he likes.
One of Xi's 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.
The 19th National Congress was a triumphant moment for Mr Xi, who promised the realisation of his "China Dream" for the country to have a "fully modern" economy by 2035 and to reach high-income status by 2049 - the 100th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic.
The party's official People's Daily reprinted a long article by Xinhua news agency saying most people supported the constitutional amendments, quoting a variety of people proffering support.
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