China's Xi Jinping could be 'president for life'

 Chinese President Xi Jinping
(Image credit: Pool/Getty Images)

The Chinese Communist Party's Central Committee introduced a proposal last week to remove the presidential term limit constraining the rule of President Xi Jinping. On Monday, the constitutional amendment is expected to be overwhelmingly passed by the National People's Congress, permitting Xi, already enormously powerful, to extend his rule indefinitely.

The change has been subject to criticism on Chinese social media, and it marks a major undoing of reforms implemented since the era of Mao Zedong. "This is a critical moment in China's history,” said Cheng Li, a Brookings Institution expert on Chinese politics. "Deng Xiaoping's abolishment of lifetime tenure for the leadership and more institutionalized transitions in power are very much in question."

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