Xi Jinping Power Grab in China Might Bring Stability for Shippers But Are Your Feelings Mixed?
Many don’t know this, but like the U.S. presidency, China’s presidency has a two-term limit. However, it appears that is about to change.
According to a CNN article by Kerry Brown, an expected change to China’s constitution, removing the two-term limit, “would allow President Xi Jinping to rule the country unchallenged for decades to come.”
China’s presidential terms are longer than U.S. presidential terms. A term there is for five years. Of course, China is a communist state, so the government functions much differently than the democratic system in the U.S. With the current two five-year term limit in China, a president’s rule there is limited to one decade.
Xi Jinping obviously does not plan for his rule to be limited to that time span.
CNN Correspondent Matt Rivers said in a CNN video about the proposed change to China’s constitution:
“This is further proof that this is Xi Jinping’s China. There’s absolutely no doubt about that at this point moving forward. But really, what this move is, yes it’s unprecedented, but it’s also sort of expected in a lot of ways because of the sort of power grabs that we’ve seen Xi Jinping take.
So what happens now is that this was proposed, and so Xi Jinping and his vice president could now stay on for more than two terms if in March what’s called the People’s Congress, which convenes delegates from all over China, votes to do that. That’s essentially a rubber stamp parliament. If Xi Jinping wants this to happen, if the Standing Committee—which is the most powerful committee in China inside the Communist Party—wants this to happen, it’s going to happen. People are voting on it in a nominal sense, but if they want this to happen, it will. And it almost assuredly will go into effect in March.
And that opens the door for Xi Jinping to stay on as the head of the state, which is a big deal. He could stay on indefinitely. But we have to remember there’s two different things going on in China here. You have head of state but also Xi Jinping is head of the party. And that is the more important term. He is the Party Chairman of the Communist Party of China. And remember what happened last November, where Xi Jinping thought was actually inscribed into the party constitution not the state constitution. That is more important than anything else.
What Kerry Brown’s article points out is how silent the rest of the world’s leaders, particularly leaders in the West, are on Xi Jinping’s power grab.
Why does the U.S. seem okay with Xi Jinping basically making himself the indefinite emperor of China? To sum up the answer given by Kerry Brown’s article in one word, stability.
For all the Western complaints about the parlous state of human rights, in [Western Leaders’] hearts they know they need a country which is stable and predictable — even if it is a stable and predictable autocracy.
For all the West’s unease about a one-party state having such dominance at the moment, because of the stability it gives over such a crucial region, the Communist Party’s total control of China is something Western leaders buy into and support.
Brown gives many examples of why the world needs stability from China. Among uncertainty with the Trump presidency in the U.S., the UK trying to leave the EU, the Middle East’s perpetual unrest, Congo slipping into civil war, and nuclear threats from North Korea, is the flow of goods throughout the world.
Obviously, China is a huge manufacturer of goods. As a freight forwarder, Universal Cargo helps businesses import goods from China on a daily basis. Therefore, this story holds special significance for many of our clients and readers.
Xi Jinping’s time of power extending indefinitely could very well give a sense of stability for those who import goods from China as well as those who export to China.
To that end, many U.S. shippers may feel relieved by the thought of stability in Chinese leadership for the stability it could bring to importing and exporting in the future. However, there are probably many with mixed feelings about seeing such a huge power grab from Xi Jinping.
We’d love to know what you think about this situation, shippers. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.