Monday, February 26, 2018

China Changes Rules for Xi

One of the important pieces of news you might not have noticed is that China has changed it's constitution (who can keep up with International news as our VSG President brags that he would have rushed the gunman, even if he didn't have a weapon*).
The change allows the current leader, Xi Jinping, to stay in power indefinitely.  Longer than any other leader since Mao. Perhaps a bit of background is needed here (link).

When Mao passed away, the Chinese Communist Party introduced term limits for it's hierarchy. This was because there had been no way to remove Mao, even as the leadership wanted to. To prevent the adoration and idealization of a single leader, the party decided that two terms was enough.

This has stayed in place since Deng Xiaoping who took over in 1978. That is 40 years. This current change then is actually remarkable (link).

China has profited from President Trump's rule. Xi Jinping effortlessly plays Trump and has pushed his vision of leadership around the world. Since China is mainly a benevolent power externally (everywhere but Asia), world leaders have been happy to allow China to lead.

While this change seems benign, it has the possibility to be a major disrupter enabling an unchecked, extremely powerful Chinese leader. It has moved China from being a dependable, nominally traditional power to a country with a singular ruler. A nuclear power with over a billion people subject to the whims of one man. It did not go well under Mao and there isn't a reason to think it is a good thing in the long run.


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