China justifies scrapping of two-term presidential limit

Calvin Saunders
March 5, 2018

China does not want a trade war with the United States but will defend its interests, a senior Chinese diplomat said on Sunday, after U.S. President Donald Trump announced a plan to put tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.

File image of China president Xi Jinping.

"It is conducive to upholding the authority of the Central Committee of the party with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core and also to unified leadership", Zhang said.

Photo taken on February 27, 2018 shows the Telecom & Network Service Room of the press center for the first session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) and the first session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), in Beijing, capital of China.

In line with this agenda, Li, the premier, set this year's growth target at around 6.5 percent, which would be among the world's strongest if achieved.

The figure released in a report Monday to the National People's Congress is an increase from a year ago, when ministry officials told the Associated Press the budget was rising to 1.044 trillion yuan ($151 billion). The report also warned Taiwan that China "will never tolerate any separatist schemes" amid tensions between the mainland and the self-ruled island.

China feels a great sense of duty, and considers not only its own growth but the sustained development of the world economy, Li said, adding that the country hopes the recent positive momentum of the world economy will be championed.

Chinese censors banned the letter N on social media.

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Trump's announcement on Thursday sparked a flurry of counter-threats from other nations but its main trade rival, China, had avoided any overt warnings of potential retaliation until now.

Xi will be formally elected to his second term as president at China's largely rubber-stamp parliament.

There are no term limits for the post of party general secretary and the chairmanship of both the party and state Central Military Commissions.

During his Saturday remarks he reportedly also complained about US law enforcement's decision not to investigate his 2016 presidential rival Hillary Clinton over actions including the use of a private email server when she was secretary of State. He has also pursued a relentless but popular campaign against corruption that has punished more than a million party officials.

China's government pledged Monday to deliver robust growth, pursue advanced technology and boost military spending while urging the public to embrace President Xi Jinping's rule as its ceremonial legislature prepared for changes to allow Xi to stay in power indefinitely.

Before that, USA presidents, though not prohibited, out of tradition, only served for a maximum of two terms.

"We will stick to the Chinese path in strengthening our armed forces, advance all aspects of military training and war preparedness", Li said.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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