Xi Jinping is set to officially rule China for an indefinite period, making him the country’s most powerful leader in the post-Mao era.
It follows as China’s legislature, the National People’s Congress, approves a constitutional amendment that abolishes presidential limits of two consecutive terms.
The Communist Party’s Central Committee proposed the amendment in late February, immediately drawing dissent from overseas.
On March 11, a comical two out of 2,963 delegates of the congress voted against the move, while three abstained. Two-thirds must vote yes to pass.
According to Xinhua, the amendment also enshrined “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era,” which has been “the fundamental theoretical guide for the historic achievements and shifts” in the country.
Shen Chunyao, chairman of the Commission for Legislative Affairs of the 12th NPC Standing Committee, said:
“As an important content of the amendment, the inclusion of Xi’s thought into the country’s fundamental law reflects the common aspiration of the entire Communist Party of China (CPC) and all Chinese people of various ethnic groups.
“It has been the fundamental theoretical guide for the historic achievements and shifts made in the cause of the Party and the country since the 18th CPC National Congress.”
This was the first amendment to the country’s fundamental law in 14 years. If anything, it suggests Xi can extend his presidency beyond 2023, possibly for life.
BREAKING: China’s legislature passed the new amendment of constitution with 2 opposition votes, making president Xi Jinping for life possible. It’s the lowest opposition vote compared to the two latest amendments, in 2004 and 1999. pic.twitter.com/SghJFfwFVW
— Keith Zhai (@QiZHAI) March 11, 2018
First elected in 2013, Xi is supposed to step down in 2023. His predecessors, Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin, both served two-term limits.
Featured Images via Xinhua