China’s legislature passes constitutional amendment abolishing presidential term limits

Xi Jinping poised to remain in power indefinitely

China’s legislature has given its official rubber stamp of approval to a constitutional amendment abolishing presidential term limits, effectively granting Xi Jinping indefinite rule.

Considered all but inevitable after the proposal was announced by the Communist Party’s Central Committee a few weeks ago, the measure passed by a comical margin. With only two dissenting voices and three abstentions among nearly 3,000 delegates, it comfortably met the two-thirds threshold required of a constitutional amendment.

Established as a deterrent against indefinite strongman rule in the post-Mao era, presidential term limits ensured seamless transfers of power for the thirty-five years they were in place.

Now that they have been excised from the constitution, Xi has formal latitude to remain at the helm of China’s party-state apparatus as president, party chairman, and commander-in-chief beyond the end of his second term in 2023.