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Friday, September 30, 2022

Xi taking China back to personalistic dictatorship: Report

Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to be appointed to an unprecedented third term as leader of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the media reported.

Li Ling, a lecturer of Chinese politics at the University of Vienna, said at an online panel hosted by the Asia Society that she expects the 69-year-old Xi to be an exception to the age limit, which she anticipates he will enforce for others.

“The age limit is the only exit mechanism to end a Politburo Standing Committee member’s tenure. It is very objective and easy to enforce fairly,” she said.

Bonnie Glaser, director of the Asia Program at the German Marshall Fund, told Axios that Xi’s goal this fall is to “put his own people on the Politburo Standing Committee and the Politburo”.

The mandatory retirement age is not in any CCP official regulation or document.

The party resolution eliminating term limits puts Xi in the unlimited-terms category of former CCP Chairman Mao Zedong. He served as party leader from 1935 until his death on September 9, 1976.

In 2017, Xi broke precedent by not promoting a successor-in-training at the 19th Party Congress. The following year, he maneuvered the abolition of a two-term limit for party presidents, VOA reported.

“Xi Jinping is taking China back to a personalistic dictatorship after decades of institutionalized collective leadership,” said Susan Shirk, an expert on Chinese politics and professor at the University of California, San Diego.

“He has clearly signaled his intention to remain in office after his normal two terms end in 2022,” she added in a 2018 analysis published in the Journal of Democracy.

Xia Ming, a political science professor at the City University of New York, told VOA Mandarin in a video interview that he doesn’t think Xi has a 100 per cent chance to secure his third term.

“With the current domestic and international situation, there’s heightened probability for a major change in Chinese politics,” he said, “so I think Xi only has a 50-50 chance to secure a third term”.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed)

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