Removing presidential term is about protecting authority of party: China

Vastavam web: Removing presidential term limits in the state constitution is about protecting the authority of the ruling Communist Party with President Xi Jinping at its centre, a Chinese government spokesman said on Sunday.The party said last Sunday it would remove the two-term limit clause, setting the stage for Xi to stay in office indefinitely should he wish, prompting accusations from some in the country that China is set to become another North Korea.

Parliament, which opens its two week-long annual session on Monday, will pass the amendment as the body is stacked with party loyalists who will not question decisions from the leadership.Asked whether the constitutional amendment would mean Xi would stay in office for life, Zhang Yesui, a vice foreign minister and spokesman for parliament, did not offer a direct answer.The state constitution will therefore also mimic the party constitution in regard to the presidency, Zhang told a news conference.

The move“benefits protecting the authority of the party centre and collective leadership with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, and benefits the strengthening and perfecting of the national leadership system”, he added, without elaborating.Xi will be formally elected to his second term as president at China’s largely rubber stamp parliament. He began his second term as party boss in October.

State media has started ramping up the propaganda in favour of Xi in the run-up to parliament.State television’s WeChat account on Sunday began running an eight-minute long video entitled“The people’s delegate Xi Jinping”, showing pictures of Xi visiting ordinary people over a voice over of Xi talking about issues like poverty relief.