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Xi Who Would be King

The Communist Party of China wants to end presidential term limits, allowing Xi Jinping to hold office indefinitely. What's behind the move and what does it mean for China?

The announcement was low key but the implications are big. The Communist Party of China has recommended that the constitution be amended to allow President Xi Jinping to serve longer than the currently mandated two terms. The move would sweep aside a system of power-sharing that's been in place for decades and the 64 year-old could now be China's president for life. So, what is behind the decision? Is it a legitimate attempt to safeguard and bolster Xi's campaign against corruption and ensure essential economic reforms? Or is it a big step towards authoritarian leadership? Xi has created a powerful cult of personality, but as the example of Chairman Mao suggests, a charismatic ruler for life can bring disaster to China. Carrie Gracie and a panel of expert guests unpick the latest developments inside one of the most opaque nations on Earth.

(Photo of a decorative plate featuring an image of Chinese President Xi Jinping is seen behind a statue of late communist leader Mao Zedong by Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images)

Available now

50 minutes

Last on

Sat 3 Mar 2018 12:06GMT



Victor Gao - China National Association of International Studies

Winnie King - University of Bristol

Didi Kirsten Tatlow - Mercator Institute for China Studies in Berlin

Julia Lovell - Birkbeck College, University of London

Also featuring:

Kevin Rudd - Former Prime Minister of Australia

Ming Xia - US-based Chinese dissident


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The Real Story Podcast

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