Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

No term limits, but other changes might be more significant

An analysis of the proposed constitutional changes described last week.

Please note the referrals to the state (government) and party bureaucracies. Guess who is gaining power.

First term limits ... now Xi Jinping to shake up the state to tighten Communist Party’s grip on government
Chinese President Xi Jinping has kick-started a structural shake-up of the country’s massive party and state bureaucracy, in a push for efficiency and to further entrench the Communist Party’s control of all levers of government.

Xi’s shake-up plan was endorsed by the party’s ruling Central Committee…

It came just days after the announcement of a party proposal to scrap the two-term constitutional limit on the presidency, opening the way for Xi to stay in power beyond the end of his second term in 2023.

The Xinhua report did not detail the reform plan, but stressed the top priority was to fortify the party’s control.

The main task of the overhaul was to “strengthen the party’s full leadership of all areas and all aspects of work, to make sure the party’s leadership is all encompassing and becomes even stronger”, the report said…

Part of the blueprint will be put to the National People’s Congress – the country’s legislature – for formal approval when it convenes its annual meetings next week…

The Xinhua report did not say which government departments would be affected, saying only that the systems for market supervision, natural resources and environmental management, and public service management would be improved…

Wu Qiang, a former Tsinghua University political science professor, said… “The party will not only tighten control over traditional administrative agencies, and economic policymaking, but also social groups,” Wu said. “In particular, it means that the party will deepen its intervention in economic and social affairs.”

Although the details of the changes were not public, Wu said it was very likely that the State Council, China’s cabinet, would continue to wane in a political system ruled by an increasingly powerful party…

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