21 March 2018
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  • » 03/10/2018, 14.10


    Tomorrow Xi Jinping will become president 'as long as he wants'

    The People’s National Congress is ready to lift term limits for the offices of the president and vice president. China’s Internet censors have been blocking keywords like ‘emperor” and “disagree”, with the result that made links are going dead, and chats are silenced.

    Beijing (AsiaNews) – Tomorrow, Xi Jinping is set to become president for "as long as he wants" or until something unpredictable happens, this according to behind-the-scene talk a day before the National People's Congress (NPC) opens.

    Against the backdrop of a booming trade in novelties associated with the new party line, some 3,000 delegates to the NPC are preparing to repeal terms limits for the offices of president and vice president.

    The proposal, presented at the beginning of the week by an official – who described it as a request coming from the people – was welcomed by a loud applause from the PNC members, but outside the hall, in private, when asked for a comment about the abolition of presidential term limits that would given Xi Jinping unfettered power, the response is muted.

    The Global Times noted that changing the constitution did not necessarily mean “that the Chinese president will have a lifelong tenure.” Citing party ideologues, the paper insisted that China needs “stable, strong and consistent leadership”, particularly from 2020 to 2035.

    According to the People’s Daily, the tradition of sanweiyiti (three positions – Party General Secretary, State President and Chairman of the Central Military Commission – in one person) has proven “beneficial to upholding and safeguarding the authority of the central authorities and concentrating unified leadership”. Thus, the proposed constitutional amendment would guarantee its continuation.

    As the word spread, on WeChat, China's leading social media platform, a mixture of disbelief and cynicism emerged about the almost-inevitable return to a life-long ruler, something that China had not seen since Mao’s death in 1976.

    For the regime’s notorious Internet censors this meant removing negative references or keywords -- like "emperor" and "disagree". The growing number of dead links and chat sessions going quiet were further proof of this.

    Strict censorship, along with a propaganda blitz, on the term-limit move has shown no sign of abating, with many viewing its intensity as an indication of the authorities' surprise at the widespread public backlash.

    One phrase that people keep using is even attributed to Mao: "The masses have sharp eyes." Indeed, as the grip on the internet becomes tighter, more and more Chinese seem determined to scale the so-called "Great Firewall" to find unfiltered information.

    Still, many also share a sense of pride for the country’s unprecedented economic growth, even under Xi since late 2012, this in spite of the widespread complaints about the growing income gap, rising cost of living and lack of upward social mobility,

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    See also

    20/03/2018 16:32:00 CHINA
    NPC: silence on constitutional amendment, scripted media coverage

    Spokespeople provide scripted answers to scripted questions. Various “foreign” media are funded by China as propaganda tools. The end of term limits for Xi Jinping is the will of the people even though the people did not know about it.

    18/03/2016 13:37:00 CHINA
    One more Chinese journalist goes missing: he had called on Xi Jinping to resign

    Jia was supposed to fly to Hong Kong, but is now missing. No one knows his whereabouts. Two weeks ago, he had posted an open letter to China's president, accusing him of accumulating too much power. Censorship is increasingly resented even among Communists. A former reporter at Xinhua complains about too many banned items, and government departments with too much power, setting “themselves up as the arbiters of public opinion."

    20/02/2008 CHINA
    Growing debate within Communist Party over democratic reforms
    Democratic reforms are seen as necessary to continue economic growth and fight corruption. Media should be freer to remind leaders of their duties. Communist leaders also call for greater democracy. In March new government is to be chosen.

    27/02/2018 13:50:00 CHINA
    Xi Jinping as China’s 'new emperor', between censorship and praise

    For Bao Tong, the Party does what it wants in China. The Chinese must dream its dictatorial dreams. On social media, irony is unleashed. "I had the dream of voting for a president at least once in my life!" said one commentator. Winnie the Pooh was censored again. Economists appreciate stable leadership from an "investment perspective". The Global Times despises Western democracy as "in full decomposition".

    15/03/2013 CHINA
    NPC votes in new PM Li Keqiang
    Viewed as a cautious reformer, China's Number 2 man was involved in one of the country's worst health scandals, that of AIDS-tainted blood transfusions, which he tried to cover up with an iron-fist. Now he will be in charge of economic affairs.

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    Putin's victory seen from West and East

    Xi Jinping sent a highly congratulatory message. Japan and Germany issued polite words. The Observatory for Security and Cooperation in Europe criticised restrictions on fundamental freedoms. Tensions with Britain remain over the ex-spy poisoning. For Chinese scholar, as the West continues to attack Russia and China, the two will move closer.

    NPC: silence on constitutional amendment, scripted media coverage

    John Ai

    Spokespeople provide scripted answers to scripted questions. Various “foreign” media are funded by China as propaganda tools. The end of term limits for Xi Jinping is the will of the people even though the people did not know about it.


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