China Communist Party Proposes Removing Presidential Term Limits To Favour President

(FILES)  Chinese President Xi Jinping waving at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. China’s Communist Party is calling for the removal of presidential term limits, China’s official news agency reported on February 25, 2018, paving the way for Xi Jinping to remain as head of state after 2023.
WANG ZHAO / AFP

 

China’s Communist Party is calling for the removal of presidential term limits, the official Xinhua news agency reported Sunday, paving the way for Xi Jinping to remain as head of state after 2023.

The party’s Central Committee has proposed deleting from the constitution the stipulation that a president “shall serve no more than two consecutive terms” of five years, Xinhua said.

Xi, who is also party chief and considered to be China’s most powerful leader  since Mao Zedong, has been president since 2013 and would step down in 2023 under the current system.

The proposed change, which would also apply to the vice-president, will be submitted to legislators at the annual full session of the National People’s Congress starting March 5.

At the 19th five-yearly party congress last October, Xi saw his personal political philosophy included in the party’s charter, an honour only accorded to one previous leader, Mao, during his lifetime.

Since taking over as party general secretary in late 2012, Xi has waged a remorseless battle against corruption, which has seen more than one million people punished. Some see the campaign also as a means for him to eradicate internal opposition.

Xi’s presidency has been marked by the return of a personality cult and a major crackdown on democracy and human rights.

AFP

Diversification Of Nigeria’s Economy Now A Matter Of Urgency – Buhari

diversificationPresident Muhammadu Buhari on Friday in Guangzhou, China, said that his administration would take urgent steps to ensure the diversification of Nigeria’s economy by encouraging new investments in mining, agriculture and manufacturing.

Speaking at a reception in his honour by the Communist Party of China, President Buhari said that Nigeria would welcome the support of the Chinese government, foreign investors and local businesses for efforts to diversify the nation’s economy.

The President noted that the diversification of the Nigerian economy was long overdue as continued reliance on crude oil exports had always made the economy vulnerable to shocks.

‘‘This time we will be more deliberate. The government and businesses will be involved,” President Buhari said.

In his remarks, the Secretary of the Communist Party, who is also the Governor of the Guangdong Province, Mr Hu Chinhua, pledged that the region will support the implementation of all the bilateral agreements reached with the Chinese government during President Buhari’s visit.

President Buhari also visited the Sino-Singapore Knowledge City in Guangzhou, which showcases advancements by China in medical, science and technological inventions.

Clubs Told To Close In Beijing

Chinese authorities have set out to shut down some of the city’s most exclusive clubs, in an effort to eradicate corruption and extravagance among officials.

Local media reports that each of the two dozen high-end clubs that have sprung up in the country’s capital’s public parks, have been ordered to close or downgrade to an acceptable level, else, they must leave the parks once their leases expire.

In one club, Yushantang, in Beihai Park, a single dish can cost more than $1,600 – two months’ salary for the average local worker.

The meals are intended for officials and the wealthy, not for ordinary citizens.

According to the state-run People’s Daily newspaper, government officials found to have frequented the clubs will be severely punished. The communist party now requires all officials in Beijing to sign an agreement promising not to enter or join them.

Explosions Kill 1, Injure 8 In North China City

Several small bombs exploded in front of a Communist Party building in the northern Chinese city of Taiyuan on Wednesday, killing one person and injuring another eight, state media said.

The official Xinhua news agency said what appeared to be small-scale bombs went off outside an office building of the Shanxi Provincial Committee of the Communist Party. Taiyuan is the capital of Shanxi province.

“Judging from the scattering of small metal balls, it is suspected that improvised bombs exploded,” the news agency said.

There was no immediate explanation for the attack. But such incidents are not uncommon in China and underscore the government’s worries about stability in the world’s second-largest economy, with a widening gap between rich and poor and growing anger at corruption and environmental issues.

Photos circulated on Chinese social media sites showed smoke filling the wide avenue where the party office is located and vehicles with blown out windows. Emergency trucks were parked outside what appeared to be undamaged buildings.

Xinhua cited residents as saying people in the area scattered after as many as seven blasts went off.

The microblog of the official People’s Daily newspaper said one person had been killed and another eight were injured, including one person with serious injuries.

The Chinese government blamed Islamists for an attack in central Beijing last week when a car ploughed through bystanders on the edge of Tiananmen Square and burst into flames, killing three people in the car and two bystanders.

The incidents come as China ramps up security before top leaders gather on Saturday for a plenum meeting in Beijing to discuss key reforms.

In 2011, a farmer bombed three government buildings in Fuzhou city in Jiangxi province after failing to get redress over seizure of his land. Two people and the farmer were killed.

A 42-year-old farmer with terminal lung cancer detonated a home-made device aboard a bus in Fujian province in 2005, injuring 31 and killing himself, possibly to protest prohibitive healthcare costs.