How should Tibetans prepare for a long-term Xi Jinping?

A poster of Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on 26 February 2018.

A poster of Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on 26 February 2018. File photo/AFP

By Lobsang Wangyal

ON THE WEB, 2 March 2018

After Vladimir Putin of Russia and Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, Xi Jinping of China will become the third world leader to hold the reins of power for a long duration by manipulating political and constitutional processes.

On 15 November 2012, Xi succeeded Hu Jintao as the General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee and as Chairman of the Communist Party’s Central Military Commission.

As the paramount leader of China, Xi’s approach has been to establish China as a global player and tighten control of society to consolidate power to bolster the Party’s control of China. Xi has overseen increased stifling of people’s rights and freedoms, marking his own ascent to becoming the most powerful leader of China since Mao Zedong.

Xi having consolidated his own political power and reluctant to let go of it, under his influence the Party is widely expected to rewrite its constitution to pave the way for him to become life-long leader of China.

At the National People’s Congress session in Beijing from 5 March, the Congress will consider amending the country’s constitution. Among the 21 amendments proposed by the Communist Party of China, the most controversial is paragraph 3 of article 79, which would eradicate the current limit of PRC presidents and vice-presidents to two five-year terms. If that goes into effect, Xi Jinping, now 64, will be free to stay on as China’s head of state indefinitely.

Xi is no doubt reversing China’s march towards openness and rule of law. This is the new China that the world will be dealing with.

How should Tibetans prepare if Xi Jinping remains in power for a long time as China's paramount leader?

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