China’s Communist Party plans to repeal constitutional limits of just two five-year terms in office to allow President Xi Jinping, who is also party leader and commander-in-chief, to stay in power indefinitely.
The National People’s Congress, China’s rubber-stamp parliament, is expected to give Xi his second term and remove the 10-year limit at its annual meeting opening on March 5.
The announcement made on Sunday further ends the era of “collective” leadership that was championed by reform leader Deng Xiaoping to prevent the return of another Mao Zedong cult figure who ruled for 27 years.
Xi’s two predecessors, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, both served two five-year terms.
Xi, 64, has tightened his grip since taking power, enshrining his name in the party constitution and building his personality cult. Remaining in power beyond 2023 gives Xi a chance to push through his vision of a rejuvenated China with global clout, a prosperous society, a revived Silk Road trade route and a powerful military.