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China May Abolish Term Limits, Allowing Xi to Stay in Power Indefinitely

February 26, 2018, 4:26 PM UTC

China is clearing the way for President Xi Jinping to stay head of state indefinitely, after the country’s ruling Communist Party proposed ending term limits for the post on Sunday.

That proposal, posted to the country’s official news agency Xinhua, called for an amendment to the constitution that ends rules limiting presidents to two terms of five years each. In doing so, the proposal would allow Xi to remain beyond the end of his second term in 2022.

The amendment removes mention of two consecutive terms, instead reading that the president and vice president of China will have terms “same as the terms of office of the National People’s Congress.”

The move to abolish term limits also comes as Xi has increasingly sought to consolidate power. In October, for instance, the Communist Party decided to enshrine Xi’s political thoughts into the constitution—elevating him to the level of the party’s founding father, Mao Zedong and also Deng Xiaoping.

Since Xi took office, China has also powered up its great firewall, and clamped down dissent.

The proposal must be approved in March by the country’s parliament, though its expected to meet no resistance.