Last week, the Chinese National People’s Congress removed Presidential and Vice-Presidential term limits, effectively allowing current President (and Chinese Communist Party General Secretary) Xi Jinping to stay in power beyond the two terms that had been the norm in recent decades. How to understand this sudden change, surprising in its particular shape though not exactly at odds with broader trends in recent years? One way is to look at the process of how the proposal to abolish these term limits worked its way through the system. Who championed it, who opposed it (or, if no one dared oppose it, who stayed silent)? What were the internal arguments for and against the proposal?
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