[China] How Xi Jinping made his power grab: stealth, speed, and guileFrom: email@example.com
The Dictator's Handbook
Mar 08 2018 17:26:45
BEIJING — Some 200 senior Communist Party officials gathered behind
closed doors in January to take up a momentous political decision:
whether to abolish presidential term limits and enable Xi Jinping to
lead China for a generation.
In a two-day session in Beijing, they bowed to Mr. Xi’s wish to hold
onto power indefinitely. But a bland communiqué issued afterward made
no mention of the weighty decision, which the authorities then kept
under wraps for more than five weeks.
That meeting of the party’s Central Committee was the culmination of
months of secretive discussions that are only now coming to light — and
show how Mr. Xi maneuvered with stealth, swiftness and guile to rewrite
The decision was abruptly announced only last week, days before the
annual session of China’s legislature, the National People’s Congress.
The delay was apparently an effort to prevent opposition from
coalescing before formal approval of the change by the legislature’s
nearly 3,000 members.
The congress is all but certain to approve the change and other
constitutional amendments — the first since 2004 — in a vote on Sunday,
sweeping away a rule that restricts presidents to two five-year terms
and has been in the Constitution for 35 years. The congress alone has
the power to amend the Constitution, by a two-thirds vote, but
lawmakers, picked by the party, have always passed proposals presented