China’s president cleared for lifetime rule as term limits scrapped

China’s president cleared for lifetime rule as term limits scrapped

By Luke Vargas   
Published
Chinese President Xi Jinping during Sunday's meeting of the National People’s Congress. March 11, 2018. Courtesy: China Central Television
Chinese President Xi Jinping during Sunday's meeting of the National People’s Congress. March 11, 2018. Courtesy: China Central Television

After changes passed by the National People's Congress on Sunday, President Xi Jinping will not longer be bound by China's previous limit of two five-year terms in office.

China’s parliament has overturned the country’s presidential term limits, approving constitutional changes on Sunday that would allow President Xi Jinping to serve indefinitely.

That vote in the National People’s Congress wasn’t even close, with 2,957 votes in favor, compared to just two no’s and three abstentions.  

If you didn’t think President Xi’s weekend could have gone any better, think again. China’s parliament also enshrined what’s known as “Xi Jinping Thought” into the constitution, essentially weaving his political agenda into the official fabric of the Chinese government.

The People’s Congress also established a new commissions to investigate corruption among Communist party officials, but will do so behind closed doors and outside of the China’s formal judiciary system.

Since coming into power five years ago, some 1.5 million Communist party member have been punished for a range of alleged corruption offenses. 

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Days after President Trump issued exemptions on new steel and aluminum tariffs to Canada, Mexico and Australia, several other U.S. allies are clamoring for exemptions of their own.

Chief among them are Brazil, the European Union, Japan and South Korea.

On Monday morning, Trump took to Twitter to announce that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is entering into talks with E.U. officials to encourage them to pare back trade barriers on U.S. agriculture, presumably in return for a steel and aluminum exemption.

Another country trying to get face time with the Trump Administration over tariffs is South Korea.

Despite handing President Trump a potential diplomatic opening on the North Korean crisis, South Korean officials have thus far failed to earn a tariff exemption. The country’s Finance Minister said Sunday that he was “[deploying] all possible means to respond to U.S. steel tariffs measures and [making] an all-out effort.”

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