Vastavam web: In a rare public expression of dissent in China, a well-known political commentator and a prominent businesswoman have penned open letters urging lawmakers to reject a plan that would allow President Xi Jinping to rule indefinitely.Their impassioned statements on a popular messaging app were circulated widely after the ruling Communist Party announced a proposal Sunday to scrap term limits on the president and vice president.”My generation has lived through Mao. That era is over. How can we possibly go back to it?” Wang Ying, a businesswoman who has advocated for government reforms, wrote on WeChat that the Communist Party’s proposal was “an outright betrayal” and “against the tides.”
“I know that you (the government) will dare to do anything,” she wrote, “and one ordinary person’s voice is certainly useless. But I am a Chinese citizen, and I don’t plan on leaving. This is my motherland too!” An official in the information department of the Standing Committee of the legislative body, the National People’s Congress, said today that he was not aware of the open letters.Under the 1982 constitution, the president is limited to two five-year terms in office, but Xi “already China’s most powerful leader since Mao” appears to want additional terms to see through his agenda of fighting corruption, eliminating poverty and transforming China into a modern leading nation by midcentury.
Government and party spokesmen have yet to offer any detailed explanations on the reasoning and motivation behind the dropping of term limits. Nor is it clear whether Xi will seek to remain president for life or will only stay on for a set number of additional terms.In a commentary today, the official China Daily newspaper mentioned the proposal to strip out language in the constitution limiting the president and vice president to two five-year terms, saying it was “necessitated by the need to perfect the party and the state’s leadership system.”