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The View from China on its big Constitutional Change
Following is opinion on the change in China’s Constitution to allow President Xi Jinping to serve more than two terms, from an official Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece. As always, I present this without opinion, but will give my own in my “Week in Review” columns. It’s always important to know what the other side is telling their public.
Global Times 2/25/18
According to the document about the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee’s suggestion to amend some parts of the Constitution approved at the second plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Committee and released Sunday by the Xinhua News Agency, it has been added to the Constitution that the CPC leadership is the most substantive feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics; the second half of Article 79 that stipulates ‘The term of office of the president and vice-president of the People’s Republic of China is the same as that of the National People’s Congress, and they shall serve no more than two consecutive terms’ will be deleted; China’s national supervision commission will be given a constitutional place. These amendments have grabbed widespread attention....
Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, there have been multiple adjustments to the institution of the presidency and its terms of reference. Over the past two decades, a trinity of leadership consisting of the CPC Central Committee general secretary, president to the nation and chairman of the CPC Central Military Commission has taken shape and proven to be effective. To remove the two-term limit of the Chinese president can help maintain the trinity system and improve the institution of leadership of the CPC and the nation.
The change doesn’t mean that the Chinese president will have a lifelong tenure. There has been a wide consensus within and outside the CPC that since the reform and opening-up, China, led by the CPC, has succeeded and will continue to be successful in solving the power shifts of the CPC and the nation in a law-abiding and orderly manner....
Practices prove that fundamental interests of the Chinese society lie in consistently following the CPC leadership. We are living in a changing and sophisticated era where individuals have limited horizon and capability. The CPC Central Committee is undeniably the most capable in mastering the overall situation and leading people to build a powerful country and better life. Therefore, Chinese people trust the CPC Central Committee’s wisdom, firmly support and unwaveringly uphold its decisions including constitutional amendment....
By upholding and implementing the CPC Central Committee’s decisions, Chinese society has, once and again, become the big winner in the world and strengthened its dignity in the face of the West.
With Xi Jinping at the core of the Central Committee, the CPC has become stronger. From anti-corruption campaign to comprehensively advancing the rule of law to profound economic restructuring, the CPC Central Committee with Xi at the core has sturdily opened a new era for a hopeful China....
Out of rationality and faith, all Chinese people support the amendment and hope it can contribute to our well-being.
Global Times 2/26/18
Since the proposal the Communist Party of china (CPC) Central Committee made to amend the country’s Constitution was unveiled Sunday, it has attracted great attention from Chinese society. Amending the Constitution is a major event in the nation which requires a high level of expertise. Therefore, it is of great significance to understand the background, the driving forces as well as the real needs of the Constitutional amendment.
The Constitution is the fundamental law of the country. Any amendments must be supported by the major factors of this era. What are the major factors in China these recent years?
Since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, Chinese society has faced serious challenges brought about by previous internal problems and tremendous changes in the outside world. The new ruling team has not just been muddling along under the leadership of General Secretary Xi Jinping. Instead, it quickly started to deepen reforms in a comprehensive and magnificent way. Apart from strictly punishing corruption and comprehensively promoting the rule of law, it has also resolutely promoted economic restructuring and upgrading in China while bearing numerous risks during the process.
It can be argued that the current ruling team of China is progressive and ambitious with clear goals and willingness to take on responsibilities. They want to make contributions to this nation which can stand the test of time.
Interestingly, in the era of globalization and the internet, although China has stunning economic might, it has not yet become a leading power in terms of ideology and information.
The most influential value system in the world now is the Western value system established by the U.S. and Europe. It has shaped and affected quite a few Chinese people’s mind-sets. But some key parts of the Western value system are collapsing. Democracy, which has been explored and practiced by Western societies for hundreds of years, is ulcerating....
China cannot stop and take a break. Our people believe that every year is crucial. The CPC has made development goals to be achieved in 2035 and 2050. The country must seize the day, seize the hour. Our country must be united, energetic and be able to continue with opening-up. Our country must not be disturbed by the outside world or lose our confidence as the West grows increasingly vigilant toward China.
Global Times 2/27/18
No sooner had the CPC Central Committee made public its proposal to amend the country’s Constitution than the Western media began bad-mouthing China in their usual and various ways. It is worth nothing that for some time the Western media have been growing strident in their abuse of Beijing, almost using curse words.
The biggest reason for all this is that the rise of China has reached a critical point where some Westerners cannot psychologically bear it any longer. They wish to see misfortune befall the country. Even if it might hurt their own interests, they are willing to see China crumble first.
Such hysteria by some people in the West will subtly influence the way their countries interact with China. It will increase the risks Beijing faces while emerging, and complicate communication between Chinese society and the outside world.
It is believed that cooperation between China and the West will continue. The normal pattern of Sino-U.S. and Sino-European relations will remain fundamentally unchanged.
But in the days to come, tough sanctions against China will find more support in Western nations. Friction between China and the West will become more likely.
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