BEIJING — The annual meeting of China’s legislature, the National People’s Congress, is usually a sleepy, stolid affair. But this year history happened. In the 16-day session that ended on Tuesday, the Communist Party-controlled congress approved changes that could shape China for decades, especially by stretching President Xi Jinping’s hold on power far into the future.
Here are some highlights of our coverage.
Xi Extends His Grip on Power
Just over a week before the congress started on March 5, the Communist Party dropped a bombshell: that lawmakers would vote on a constitutional amendment lifting a two-term limit on the presidency. Mr. Xi pushed the change through with a speed and secrecy striking even for China.
Read: China Moves to Let Xi Stay in Power by Abolishing Term Limit
Read: How Xi Jinping Made His Power Grab: With Stealth, Speed and Guile
A New Era of Strongman Politics
Abolishing term limits showed that Mr. Xi wants to stay in power, unrivaled, far past the decade that his predecessor held office. The political maneuvering confirmed his status as a party titan likened, by some, to Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping. Others see parallels with Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and other modern-day authoritarians.
Read: With Xi’s Power Grab, China Joins New Era of Strongmen
Read: President Xi’s Strongman Rule Raises New Fears of Hostility and Repression
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