Throughout history, nations, in the times of despair, yearn for strong men to take them out of the crisis they find themselves struggling with. Ambitious statesmen, history tells us, often occupy the power corridors, even if they fail to translate people’s aspirations into reality. The 19th Party Congress held last November, gave fuller expression to “Xi Jinping Thought” as the Chinese Communist party enshrined it in its constitution is one more testimony to history lessons. That move elevated him to the status only enjoyed by Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping.
Following the developments of the Congress and his breaking away with the tradition of not veiling a successor, many political commentators and analysts were expecting some changes in the constitution. China is living up to their expectations as a proposal has been made by the Communist Party to remove a clause that bars occupying Presidency for more than two times.
Has Xi Jinping got his inspiration from Putin’s maneuverings? Is he becoming the New Prince? Whatever the reasons are for making the changes to the constitution, it is likely that he will get away with the clause that restricts the terms of presidency, considering his popularity inside China and his relatively successful Chinese global policy. Any changes in the constitution are internal affairs of China, indeed.
However, Xi Jinping’s possible stay till 2023 in the office shows a few shifts in the politics of China. All such developments are alarming on two levels. First, the party’s failure in bringing up a new face, which can replace Mr. Xi means that the Communist party is plagued with leadership crises. Second, the regime can assume authoritative form. China is not a country where human rights are given much consideration. The impunity with which Mr. Xi will rule will not only worsen the already spotty human rights record of the state, but it will also turn him into another virtual dictator in a country where dissent is already very low and carefully curated.