The Chinese Communist Party s leadership has called for the removal of presidential term limits, opening the door for China s most powerful leader in decades, Xi Jinping, to remain in office beyond 2023.
The party s Central Committee has proposed deleting from the constitution the stipulation that a president “shall serve no more than two consecutive terms” of five years, the official Xinhua news agency said Sunday.
Xi, who is also party chief and seen as the most powerful ruler since Mao Zedong, has been president since 2013 and the 64-year-old leader would have to step down in 2023 under the current system.
The proposed change, which would also apply to the vice-president, will be submitted to legislators at the annual full session of the National People s Congress starting March 5.
Xi has been chipping away at the collective model of leadership that was promoted by Deng Xiaoping, the architect of the country economic reforms in the 1980s.
Xi s two predecessors, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, both served two five-year terms, but he has signaled that he has bigger ambitions.