China to scrap cap on presidential, vice presidential terms today

Xi said upholding the CPC leadership was not meant to do away with democracy.

The amendment was presented after Premier Li Keqiang delivered a report warning that the country is fighting "three critical battles" against financial risk, poverty and pollution.

Mr Li set new targets, with gross domestic product growth set at around 6.5 per cent - after last year's 6.9 per cent - as the country aims for high-quality growth over the high-speed growth of yesteryear.

Annual budgeted defence spending rose by 8.1 per cent to 1.1 trillion yuan ($US224 billion), which was a bigger rise than the prior year.

Among other things, Chipman said, by 2020, China was likely to field its Chengdu J-20 stealth fighter jet, effectively ending the USA monopoly on such combat aircraft. That move follows complaints that China isn't open enough about how it funds its military or what the goals of its massive campaign of expansion and modernization are.

Once passed, the constitutional amendment would upend a system enacted by former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in 1982 to prevent a return to the bloody excesses of a lifelong dictatorship typified by Mao Zedong's chaotic 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Xi Jinping is only 64 years old.

"My staff was concerned that I couldn't do self-deprecating humour", he told the crowd, reports The Hill.

U.S. President Donald Trump has proposed a military budget that is the largest since 2011 and focused on beefing up the country's nuclear defenses and countering the growing strength of China and Russian Federation.

Censors have worked furiously to stamp out dissenting voices on social media, blocking dozens of words from "disagree" to "emperor" on the Twitter-like Weibo website in recent days. Mao ruled for almost 30 years until his death in 1976.

It steers away from another weakness of the old-fashioned party system, in which decision making and governance, confined by interests of different political parties, classes, regions and groups, tears the society apart, he said. The rubber-stamp congress will revise the national constitution to allow Xi to stay on past the 2023 end of his term, endorse new appointments and approve government reform centering on the creation of an anti-corruption watchdog. "China must worship their chairman, if we don't worship him, who will?"

Along with the vice president, the congress will appoint a slew of Cabinet ministers and other top officials to oversee the running of the world's most populous nation and second-largest economy. "Xi needs more time to find and train the right successors", he said.

It is expected that Trump's comments will give Xi a boost and supporters of Xi are likely to see Trump's comments as validation. Now the question everyone keeps asking is, 'Who is going to be the next to leave?

  • Leroy Wright