An editorial published by state-owned newspaper Global Times says that constitutional amendments that would permit the extension of President Xi Jinping’s term in office are “rational,” and do not translate into a system of life-long tenure.
The recent unveiling of proposed amendments to the Chinese constitution has triggered a furore in the international media, with their removal of the long-standing two-term restriction on holders of China’s presidential office.
The proposed changes would only stipulate that China’s president and vice-president are subject to terms in office that coincide with those of the standing committee of China’s National People’s Congress.
While the mooted amendments have triggered an uproar in the international press and on social media, state-owned tabloid newspaper Global Times has defended the decision in an editorial piece which calls the changes “rational.”
“The past twenty years have seen the formation of a ‘three in one’ leadership position combining the roles of the chief secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, the national president, and the chair of the military commission,” said the editorial piece entitled “Firmly Supporting the Central Government’s Constitutional Amendment Proposal – This is Reason As Well As Belief” (坚定支持中央修宪建议，这是理性也是信仰). “It has been proven by practice to be strong and effective.
“This amendment would rescind the limitation on the national president serving two consecutive terms, and would help to preserve the aforementioned ‘three-in-one’ leadership system, as well as further improve the leadership system of the party and the state.
“Based on authoritative interpretations, this amendment would not mean the revival of a life-long presidential office.
“It should be realised that there is a broad consensus both within and beyond the party that ever since reform and opening, China has successfully resolved as well as continues to effectively resolve the lawful and orderly succession issues of party and government leadership.”