Hatim Khan – 12.03.2018 The Chinese parliament has voted for a historic change into the constitution of China last Sunday. One the new 21 amendments is the eradication of the current two-term limit on the Presidency by removing the statement “president and vice-president shall serve no more than two consecutive terms” from the Chinese constitution. The proposal to make the said changes to the constitution passed with an overwhelming majority. The results of the voting were; 2958 in favor, 2 against and 3 abstentions.
This means that the current President Xi Jinping who is currently in his second term will be able to remain in power indefinitely. The Chinese President is facing criticism from abroad as well as from home for his efforts to consolidate power as he is now not only the President indefinitely but will continue to keep his other positions that also have no term limit such as being the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and the Chairman of the Central Military Commission.
Many at home fear that China may be returning to the days of totalitarian rule as it used to be under Mao Zedong. A Chinese scholar and historian Zhang Lifan said, “This marks the biggest regression in China’s legal system since the reform and opening-up era of the 1980s”. It is also being reported that the censorship authorities have been censoring words online that convey opposition such as “disagree”, “go against the tide”, “I oppose” and “incapable ruler”.
Many foreign media channels have also been criticizing the Chinese leader for human rights violations, reporting that dissent is being silenced and opposition slowly but surely crushed under the leader. President of the United States was also criticized by US media channels for supposedly approving President Xi’s amendments saying “Mr. Xi is a great gentleman. He's now president for life. No, he's great".