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The exact moment when Xi Jinping became China's 'president for life'

The exact moment when Xi Jinping became China's 'president for life'

At today's National People's Congress meeting in the Great Hall of the People delegates voted 2,958 to 2 to endorse the constitutional amendment.

The limit of two five-year presidential terms was written into China's constitution in 1976 by Deng Xiaoping.

Since taking office more than five years ago, Mr. Xi - the son of one of the CCP's founding fathers - has managed a radical shake-up of the party and spearheaded an anti-corruption campaign that has taken down top leaders once thought untouchable.

Shen Chunyao, chairman of the legislature's legal affairs panel, brushed aside a foreign reporter's question about fears that a return to one-man rule could spark a power struggle, telling a press conference: "Those assumptions, guesses and extrapolations don't exist".

On the latest development, Chinese political commentator said, "I think that during the past 5 years, he has been trying a soft coup, including making the Politburo a mere figurehead".

Since the amendment to scrap presidential term limits also applies to the vice presidency, many analysts see growing signs of the hitherto ceremonial position going to one of Xi's most trusted lieutenants. But the government quickly mounted a propaganda push, blocking some articles and publishing pieces praising the party.

China's plan for President Xi Jinping to remain in office sets off an outcry online with bloggers drawing comparisons to North Korea's ruling dynasty and other dictators.

"Protecting the country's long-term stability is an extremely good thing", Cheng Bingqiang from Sichuan province told Reuters shortly ahead of the vote, when asked if he anxious about Xi being in office forever.

"He's a bit of bulldozer - and there's no other senior politician who could or want to stand up to him", said Duncan Innes-Ker, regional director for Asia at the Economist Intelligence Unit.

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"You can't ask me that", said one lady, laughing nervously and declining to give her name.

He cast his vote right after the seven members of the Standing Committee.

The National People's Congress approved elimination of a two-term limit on the presidency with little dissent, only two of the nearly 3,000 hand-picked members voting against the changes.

His predecessors - Jiang Zemin who was in power from 1993 to 2003 and Hu Jintao from 2003 to 2013 - stepped down as the General Secretary of the party as well as the president after widely followed rule as well as a convention of two terms to promote collective leadership system in the one-party state.

"We've not got around to discussing that yet", Chen Yunying, a senior defector from self-ruled Taiwan who is married to Justin Yifu Lin, the World Bank's former chief economist. Days after Communist Party of China proposed this change, United States ' President Donald Trump in an event had said that we should also give it a try.

Wang Guosheng, Qinghai's Communist Party boss, said commoners in the province viewed Xi as a "living Bodhisattva", someone on the path to become a Buddha.

He dismissed the removal of term limits, for both president and vice-president, as a mere housekeeping item, aimed at "optimizing the leading structure of the country".

"Xi Jinping has presided over so many important projects such as economic reforms and the fight against corruption".