The Asian Voice

President Xi can't become 'leader-for-life' just like that: China Daily (Asia) columnist

In his article, the veteran commentator bemoans the rush to give President Xi Jinping a "leader-for-life" label.

Chinese President Xi Jinping walks before he bows to delegates after delivering a speech during the closing session of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 20, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

HONG KONG (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The international mainstream media are now known for fake news. Not only do they report the very small part of the story they want you to know but they also twist that part with a lot of non-facts and biased opinions. They control the part they choose to report on so they can totally manipulate your knowledge and opinion about what happens around the world.

A case in point is the recent amendment of the Chinese Constitution. According to mainstream media, the only change seems to be to cancel the term limit of the country's presidency, and this is done to allegedly pave the way for President Xi Jinping to become president for life. Nothing is further from the truth than that.

Even after the term limit is waived, there is still an election by the National People's Congress (NPC) before anyone can be president for another term. That means it is not automatic; the candidate must canvass the votes from NPC deputies to be elected.

It would require a very long stretch of imagination to deduce that president-for-life stems from deleting the term-limit clause. Yet the mainstream media is fully capable of orchestrating such a full-blown lie!

China is not the only country without a term limit on leaders. In fact nearly 100 countries around the world do not. For example Angela Merkel, chancellor of Germany, is now in her fourth term but no mainstream media is accusing her of being leader for life.

Franklin D. Roosevelt served as the 32nd president of the United States from 1933 until his death in the middle of his fourth term in 1945. He was fondly remembered as FDR, a great president who led the country out of the Great Depression and won World War II. By the way, his father's cousin Theodore Roosevelt served as US president before him, but that did not create a dynasty.

Now China is starting a great new era which overhauls the rest of the world on many fronts. It would be highly irresponsible to the country should Xi step down in the middle of the process. That is why the NPC unanimously passed the constitutional amendment.

So why the big fuss?

A handful of dissident youths in Hong Kong actually became excited by the fake news and staged a protest in front of the central government's Liaison Office last Sunday. There were more reporters and policemen than protesters, who were also outnumbered and shouted down by Xi fans here. The rally has degenerated into such a big farce that even some pro-dissident news outlets did not bother to report on it.

This goes to show that fake news, no matter how big the noise it makes, will never really go far, especially not in this information age. Remember, cheat me once shame on you, cheat me twice shame on me. People are not that stupid and gullible as some of those in psyops would want us to believe.

China Daily is a member of The Straits Times media partner Asia News Network, an alliance of 23 news media.

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