It's a week of important meetings in Beijing. Here's what's happening—and what we should look out forby George Magnus / February 26, 2018 / Leave a comment
The most powerful and autocratic leader in China since Mao, Xi Jinping, may just have become President for life. Over the weekend, it was announced that the constitutional two-term limits on the President, introduced after Mao to prevent another Mao, will no longer apply. This is a major, if not totally surprising, change for the worse in China’s governance.
It comes at the start of a week of important meetings in Beijing. What, then, is happening, and what should we look out for?
Normally at this time of year, the Party holds its “two sessions” (liang hui). These are the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and the National People’s Congress, which kick off on the 3rd and 5th March, respectively.
The former is a gathering of many political groups, at which diverse economic, political and social issues are discussed, but it has no policy-making function.
The latter is an annual legislative session that reviews the government’s annual Work Report, along with its economic plans.
This year, though, China watchers’ tongues are wagging for three reasons. First, the two sessions follow on from last October’s 19th Communist Party Congress, which bestowed significant status on to President Xi, and showcased a more authoritarian and confident China to both its citizens and to the world.
Xi was proclaimed as “core leader” and Xi Jinping Thought was enshri…