China to amend constitution

2017-10-14 22:07
China's President Xi Jinping. (Lintao Zhang, AP)

China's President Xi Jinping. (Lintao Zhang, AP)

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Beijing - China's Communist Party announced on Saturday that it agreed to amend its constitution, ahead of a keenly-watched congress, with speculation mounting that leader Xi Jinping's name will be added to the document, enshrining his legacy.

The Central Committee said it had passed an amendment to the party's constitution at the end of a plenary meeting held in advance of the main twice-a-decade congress, which begins on Wednesday and is expected to see Xi tighten his grip on power.

Constitution amendment

"The document will be submitted to the upcoming 19th CPC National Congress for review," it said in a statement.

The congress is expected to see Xi granted the customary second five-year term as general secretary of the Communist Party, thereby renewing his de facto mandate to serve as president of the world's second-largest economy.

The official Xinhua news agency said last month that the constitution will be amended during the congress to "reflect the new governance concepts, thoughts and strategies" developed by the Central Committee since the last meeting five years ago. 

Analysts speculate that Xi's name could be added to the party's constitution, elevating him into the exclusive pantheon of Chinese leaders.  

That privilege has only been granted to Xi's two most powerful predecessors, Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping.

Leadership ranks

The Communist commandments currently features "Mao Zedong Thought" and "Deng Xiaoping Theory", with the political philosophies or ideas of other leaders included without their names. 

This week's congress is hotly anticipated to herald a significant shake-up in the leadership ranks, with five out of seven members of the Politburo Standing Committee that rules over China set to be replaced.

Read more on:    xi jinping  |  china

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