China’s President Xi Jinping has recently proposed an amendment that would remove the two-five year term limit on being president. This term limit has been in place since the 1990’s and was set in place by Deng Xiaoping in an effort to balance power and advert any chaos similar to that which occurred during the Mao era. This amendment will be voted on in Chinese parliament on March 5th, however, it is very much nothing more than a formality.
Two individuals have come out publicly against this proposal. The most prominent stance has been taken by Li Datong, a well-respected veteran journalist. He sent a letter via an app called “WeChat” to Beijing’s members of parliament. It was a bold move, and authorities worked quickly to get rid of it. However, many copies have already been made on social media of the letter. Li Datong describes the action by the president as a move “against civilization” and suggests it will not stand the test of time.
The other individual who has publicly come out against the proposal is a prominent Chinese businesswoman by the name of Wang Ying who described the move as “an outright betrayal” in WeChat.
President’s Xi has done a lot to push China forward as a world power by cracking down on corruption (a bit ironic considering a move like this would show that his power has corrupted him) and pushing effective economic reform, however, removing term limits would be a big step back for the nation. It is an outright attempt to solidify his power over the country, even though he still has a second five-year term to fulfill, and wouldn’t be out of power until 2023.
This move by President Xi could signify that he has bigger, more long-term plans for China. If that is the case, then when this amendment passes, we could see the return of a more Mao-like regime in China. Since the China we know is stronger both economically and militarily than it was under Mao, we need to be vigilant of them now more than ever.