The National People’s Congress of China, the highest legislative body in the country, has approved constitutional amendments which remove term limits for Chinese Presidents. The Presidency is generally a ceremonial post that since Deng Xiaoping’s retirement from official positions in the early 1990s has typically been attached to the more domestically relevant position of General Secretary of the Communist Party of China. However, because the Chinese President is the country’s face to the wide world, the constitutional amendment is nevertheless important as it signifies a shift in Chinese thinking from arbitrary restrictions on leadership to a merit based system where excellence is rewarded and failure is constructively dealt with in a peaceful and orderly fashion.
Xi Jinping’s transformative leadership of China has ushered in a new era of Chinese invention, innovation and technological expansion which will be vital not only to the future of the Chinese economy, but the inter-connected world economy. Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era encapsulates the reforms that Xi has brought to China. Not only is China a productive industrial society where living standards continue to increase, but Xi’s plans to eliminate rural poverty in five years while building what he calls a “moderately prosperous society”. Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism With Chinese Characteristics For A New Era has already been enshrined into official Party doctrine, while it continues to shape China’s modern global win-win outlook. Now it has also been enshrined into the country’s constitution after a decision by the National People’s Congress.
Xi leadership represents both a natural progression from the achievements of previous leaders, while also signifying the next great shift in Chinese socio-political thought. While Deng Xiaoping brought his pragmatic, problem solving economic theories into the equation of a Maoist society which led to mass industrialisation and an increase in living standards, Xi’s unique thought has led to China through a period which will see the country replace the United States as the world’s overall leading economy in areas where China isn’t already on top.
In order to cope with this change, Xi Jinping Thought places an emphasis on investing the country’s wealth into new innovation schemes which will see ‘made in China’ be transformed into ‘created in China’. China will not just be a producer of excellent goods across the world’s most diverse industries, but it will also become a country which will pioneer new technologies for the 21st century and beyond.
Furthermore, China will continue to invest the proceeds of national wealth directly into the daily lives of the people. China has already lifted more people out of poverty in a short period of time than any other country in history, while Xi’s drive towards a moderately prosperous society will see an increased distribution of national wealth to all regions of China.
Xi Jinping Thought seeks to balance the material benefits of a wealthy country with traditional customs, the communitarian values which are central to Chinese Communist thought and a general healthy moral and national outlook among Chinese citizens. Thus, Xi seeks to avoid the lack of moral guidance that tends to flourish when capitalist societies become wealthy, while striking an important balance between prosperity and social cohesion.
Arbitrary terms of leadership are becoming increasingly unfashionable in a flexible 21st century whose fast moving international economic realities mean that leaders who are unfit for their position ought to be more easily removed, while those who attain consistently good results in terms of domestic development, economic growth and diplomatic initiatives should be allowed to retain their positions so that they can continue their work in an uninterrupted fashion.
In allowing Xi the possibility to extend his period of leadership beyond 2023, China has demonstrated that its lawmakers reject the notion of arbitrary restrictions on effective leadership. It further demonstrates that China looks to become a society that rewards excellence at the highest levels, while under Xi’s leadership, corruption among officials has been punished in order to both increase the clean functionality of government and to set a positive example to future generations of Chinese officials.
President Xi Jinping continues to provide clarity and purpose to his leadership, while his Thought on Socialism With Chinese Characteristics for a New Era looks to guide China into its most prosperous period in history.