The change is prompted by the need to constantly adapt to new situations.
Constitutional amendment is one of the top issues on the agenda as China’s 2,989 deputies began meeting on March 3, 2018 ahead of the “two sessions,” a key annual event on China’s political calendar. China’s top legislature made up of national law-makers and political advisers convened in its plenary session on March 5, officially opened by Yu Zhengsheng, Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in the presence of the country’s President, Xi Jinping.
Deputies arrived in the country’s capital Beijing at the start of last weekend for a 10-point agenda, including amending the country’s 36-year-old Constitution. The proposal, which includes cancellation of the presidential term limit (two five-year terms), suggested the creation of a national supervisory commission as part of China’s anti-corruption drive, as well as removing the expression in the Constitution that the President and Vice President of China “shall serve no more than two consecutive terms.”
It will be the fifth time the Constitution is revised since 1982, when it was promulgated. Previous amendments were made in 1988, 1993, 1999 and 2004. Other issues on the first session of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) include reviewing the government work report, deliberating on the work report of the NPC Standing Committee, the Supreme People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate.
“The Constitution can only ensure its lasting vitality by constantly adapting to new situations, drawing on new experiences, confirming new achievements and setting down new norms...the amendment will be made in accordance with the Party’s leadership and reflect the will of the people,” said Zhang Yesui, spokesperson for this year’s NPC, during a press conference in Beijing attended by 3,000 reporters from across the world on Sunday March 4.
Twenty-one articles will be amended, including writing President Xi Jinping’s Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and adding a sentence stressing the Party’s leadership to the Constitution, according to the proposal made public by the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee on February 25, beside the move towards victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all aspects and implementing the country’s 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020).