I’m sure that you have never heard of a dictator that had term limits—in fact, two different term limits. You may often hear that the president of China is a dictator and that China is a dictatorship. However, the facts say otherwise unless the definition for this term has been changed in recent years to fit China.
However, the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English says that a dictator is “a ruler who has complete power over a country, especially one whose power has been gained by force.”
The Oxford Dictionary (the world’s most trusted dictionaries – according to them) says, that a dictator is “a ruler with total power over a country, typically one who has obtained control by force.”
Wiki says “A dictator is a ruler who assumes sole and absolute power but without hereditary ascension such as an absolute monarch… In modern usage, the term ‘dictator” is generally used to describe a leader who holds and/or abuses an extraordinary amount of personal power, especially the power to make laws without effective restraint by a legislative assembly.”
Therefore, when the president of China is limited to two, four-year terms and/or must retire at age sixty-eight (whichever comes first) and there is a legislative body that has the power to make laws while the courts enforce them (but may not overrule or interpret those laws), does that mean that president is a dictator too? I’ll leave that answer up to the reader.
Newsmakers 2011 – Xi Jinping
In addition, Article 62 of China’s Constitution says that The National People’s Congress (NPC) “elects the President and the Vice-President of the People’s Republic of China… In Article 63, it also says the NPC has the power to recall or remove from office the President and the Vice-President, which hasn’t happened yet but to be fair, it hasn’t happened in the United States either.
Then in Section 2, Articles 79 to 84 you may discover what the power of China’s president is. In Article 80, it says, “The President of the People’s Republic of China, in pursuance of decisions of the National People’s Congress and its Standing Committee, promulgates statutes … confers state medals and titles of honour; issues orders of special pardons; proclaims martial law; proclaims a state of war; and issues mobilization orders.”
I suggest clicking on this link to China’s Constitution and scrolling down to Section 2 to learn the rest.
Anyway, these two posts are about the man that may rule China as its president for the next four to eight years. Earlier this month, that man visited the United States and his name is Xi Jinping.
We will learn more about him as a person in the next post.
But first, it helps to learn more about how China’s government works. Patrick Chovanec is a professor at Tsinghua University’s School of Economics and Management in Beijing, China. He says, “In China there is the Party, the Army, and the State. Unlike in the U.S., where the three branches are co-equal and are specifically designed to check and balance each other’s powers, in China the Party is supreme and rules over the other two elements. China’s ‘leadership transition’ involves coordinated handovers of power involving all three parts of the political system.”
Chovanec says, “Since the late 1990s, a semi-official mandatory retirement age of 68 has applied to all Politburo members. If that rule is applied in 2012 (and there is no reason to expect that it won’t), all seven members of the current Politburo Standing Committee besides Xi and Li (including Hu and Wen) will retire, and be replaced by new appointees.”
I recommend clicking on this link to Chovanec’s Blog to read the rest of his post on this topic. It may be worth your time to learn more about how China works.
Continued on February 29, 2012 in The Man that may be China’s next President – Part 2
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.
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