Xi To Rule For Life As China's Parliament Abolishes Presidential Term Limits

What Xi Jinping's power play means for China's economy

Qinghai has a large Tibetan population, many of them yak herders, whom China has controversially been moving into permanent homes rather than allowing them to continue their traditional nomadic way of life.

A total of 2,958 delegates at China's National People's Congress (NPC) voted for the measure on Sunday.

One person who managed to get past censors on China's Twitter-like Weibo expressed concern "about the safety of those two people who voted against Xi's will". Three lawmakers abstained and one vote was invalidated.

The endorsement came as no surprise, given the Communist Party's iron grip on the legislature.

Vice President Li Yuanchao is not expected to stay on in his role.

The party later disclosed that Xi had presided over a meeting of the Politburo in September during which the leadership chose to revise the constitution.

But those six were - like the lawyers, labour activists and human rights advocates who have questioned their country's direction under Mr. Xi in the past five years - swept away by the power of a Chinese president who has fashioned himself into a singular force of national leadership.

NRA Files Federal Suit Against New Florida Gun Control Law
That proposal even has substantial backing among gun-owning NRA members: 53% support it, with only 25% strongly opposed. It also creates a so-called guardian programme enabling some teachers and other school employees to carry guns.

"In some ways, the move represents the end of China's 40-year-long reform era", NPR's Anthony Kuhn explained last month, when the proposed changes were announced. As the six-day 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) drew to a close in 2017, the approximately 2,200 delegates decided on adding "Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era" to the Party's constitution.

Mr Xi became president in 2012, and quickly consolidated personal power while cementing China as the regional superpower. It also ties the world's most populous country more closely to the fate of a single man than at any point since reformer Deng Xiaoping began establishing a system for peaceful power transitions in the aftermath of Mao's death.

Ahead of the vote by deputies in the NPC, the seven member Standing Committee - the topmost body of the ruling Communist Party of China - unanimously approved the amendment to abolish the presidential term limits. If the next Communist Party congress in 2022 effectively abolishes the customary retirement age of 68 for senior officials, Xi could rule the party and state into the mid-2030s, when he would be well into his 80s.

Following a divorce from his first wife, Xi married the celebrity soprano Peng Liyuan in 1987, at a time when she was much more famous than him.

The amendment's huge significance could account for the veil of secrecy that has apparently fallen over this year's legislative session.

This was the first amendment to the country's fundamental law in 14 years.

Beijing has said lifting the term limits is about protecting the authority of the party with Xi at its center. "We've been cut off", said a representative of a Japanese company. If, by 2021, the 100th anniversary of the party's founding, he can assure a per capita GDP of $10,000 he will have gone some way to improving the lot of China's working masses: A promise he is well on track to keeping. But if the economy veers off course, whether by Xi's own doing or because of a global downturn, the leader's support could waver.

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