China reform positions Xi to be life president

China has approved constitutional changes that will lift the restrictions on presidential term limits.

The changes were made during the annual sitting of the National People’s Congress. China had previously imposed a two-term limit on its president in the 1990s.

But, Xi now has the option to run as party chief, head of the military and president. The amendment overhauls a system which was introduced by former leader Deng Xiaoping in 1982.

Of the 2,964 votes cast, one ballot was declared invalid, two delegates voted against the measure while three others elected to abstain.

According to the National Supervisory Commission, the removal of the term limits also paves the way for a new super anti-graft agency.

According to The South China Post, critics believe the new agency a “legal cover” for the party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, which would allow it to continue to investigate and detain suspects without giving them access to lawyers.

The proposed change to the constitution was made earlier this year and Xi defied tradition by not presenting a successor during last October’s Communist Party Congress. The Chinese president was due to step down in 2023.

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