World Media

China Sends Envoy to Talk Trade as Trump Mulls Tariffs

China Sends Envoy to Talk Trade as Trump Mulls Tariffs

One caveat to this change is to remember that Mr Xi occupies several positions in the hierarchy, and that the change in presidential term limits affects only his position in the government, not his position as chairman of the party, which is the ultimate source of political power.

The amendment will be approved at this month's annual meeting of China's largely rubber stamp parliament, which is stacked with delegates loyal to the party who will not challenge its proposal.

As Business Insider explains, plenty of other terms were banned for more obvious reasons, including anything that might suggest a user wanted to see mockery of Xi, support for term limits, or a desire to emigrate from China.

Censors are also using a sophisticated new tool - optical character recognition, or OCR - to scan photos sent in popular messaging platform WeChat, pulling them if they contain "bad" words or phrases, according to a new report from the Sans Internet Storm Center. Supporters insist that continuity is needed as China enters a "crucial period" between 2020 and 2035 when it aspires to become a modern, prosperous state.

"Ten thousand years" (万岁), which is China's way of saying: 'Long live!' or 'Viva!'

80-pound inflatable raft crashes into Miami home
Above is an aerial view of Miami International Airport at the airport terminal on March 21, 2017. Upon arrival, responders discovered a two-foot uninflated raft in the bedroom of the house.

Ironically, the success of that effort is evident in the call for constitutional amendment. In successfully pushing for a removal of the formal term limits on the presidency of the People's Republic of China, the 64-year-old Xi has done two major things.

It seemed unlikely then. He pushed to enshrine the National Supervision Commission into the state constitution and has worked to undermine informal systems and purify the party by removing opponents. To begin with, Xi is now regularly recognised as the most powerful leader since the legendary Mao. Parallels between Mao and Xi are drawn often by their critics. If that gambit proves successful, the model could spread in a way unheard of since World War II - especially as more open governments in the European Union and United States have been destabilized amid populist takeovers in the form of Brexit and the election of President Donald Trump.

Another possibility was that Song Tao, head of the Communist Party's worldwide affairs department and close to Xi, could become foreign minister, the sources said. After the Cultural Revolution and the fall of Mao, his father was reinstated in 1981 and became a leader in economic liberalization laws. Their identity crisis is never more obvious than in the portrait of Mao that still hangs above Tiananmen, the Gate of Heavenly Peace. Five years have passed since it was announced at the Third Plenum and not much has been achieved, beyond the consolidation of power. Since 2015, more than 200 human rights lawyers have been detained and, in many cases, tortured, coerced into confessions and subjected to show trials. Chinese theorists have constantly used that logic to justify the authoritarian tendencies and policies by their leaders, painting a rosy picture of upcoming political reform installed and implemented by the strongman.

The changes leave Xi with sole responsibility for China's $12 trillion economy, mounting debt pile, more aspirational middle class and growing overseas interests. The People's Liberation Army is being reorganized and modernized, with new tech and hardware added with increasing speed - effectively closing the once massive gap between the Chinese and American militaries. John Thornton, a former Goldman Sachs president who has taught at Tsinghua University in Beijing, said that in a chaotic world, the two countries should focus on what unites, rather than what divides, them. Domestic and global infrastructure projects are paramount to extend China's reach. "He's helping us with North Korea".

Xi likely sees finding ways to stay in power - no matter what that takes - as the only way to finish what he set out to do.


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