[NTDTV, Beijing time, September 26, 2022]The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China is scheduled to debut on October 16, and the reelection of high-level officials has attracted much attention. The Beijing authorities recently issued new regulations specifying 15 scenarios for officials to step down, but the outside world found that sensitive provisions related to the re-election of Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping have disappeared.
The General Office of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China recently issued a revised version of the Regulations on Promoting the Ability of Leading Cadres to Go Up and Down (hereinafter referred to as the Regulations). In August this year, it was revised by the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and announced by the General Office of the CPC Central Committee on September 8.
In the revised regulations, 15 regulations are listed for CCP officials to step down, including: political ability is not too strong; ideals and beliefs are shaken; responsibility and fighting spirit are not strong; there are deviations in the view of political achievements; organizational concept is weak; principle, arbitrary or cronyism, etc.
It is worth noting that the new version of the above-mentioned “Regulations” no longer contains the more specific content of the 2015 version, such as the strict implementation of the “restriction on retirement age for cadres” and “limitation on the maximum number of years in office” and so on. These original clauses are considered to contradict Xi Jinping’s re-election at the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.
In the 2015 version of the original “Regulations”, a number of specific provisions on retirement at age were listed, including:
Article 4, “Strictly implement the rules and regulations on dismissal (retirement) of cadres upon expiration of their term of office, and resignation upon expiration of their term of office”;
Article 5: “Strictly implement the cadre retirement system. If a cadre reaches the age limit for office or the age limit for retirement, he shall go through the procedures for removal (retirement) in accordance with the relevant procedures. If the removal (retirement) is delayed due to work needs, it shall be subject to cadre management. Authority, the party committee (party group) will study and put forward opinions, and report to the higher-level party organization for approval”;
Article 6, “Strictly implement the tenure system for leading cadres, the term of office, the number of sessions and the maximum term of office shall generally not be extended” and so on.
Hu Ping, editor-in-chief of “Beijing Spring” magazine, believes that the new version of the regulations cancels the only hard constraints of the old version, which actually greatly expands Xi Jinping’s arbitrariness in the promotion of cadres and the appointment and removal of personnel. This means that the limit of up to two terms, including the general secretary, has been broken, and the retirement age limits, including the “seven ups and eight downs” for entering the Politburo and the Politburo Standing Committee, have also been broken.
Since the 16th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee have had an unwritten rule of “seven ups and eight downs”, that is, the age limit for renewal at the age of 67 and retirement at the age of 68.
According to the rule of “seven ups and eight downs”, among the current Politburo Standing Committee members, 69-year-old Xi Jinping, 72-year-old Li Zhanshu, and 68-year-old Han Zheng have all reached retirement age; there are also 9 Politburo members. They include Vice Premier Liu He (70), Director of the Foreign Affairs Office of the Communist Party of China Yang Jiechi (72), and Vice Premier Sun Chunlan (72).
But after Xi Jinping came to power at the 18th National Congress, many previous rules have been broken, including the removal of the presidential term limit by amending the constitution, paving the way for Xi Jinping to be re-elected at the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. It is speculated by the outside world that Xi Jinping may break the unspoken rule of “seven ups and eights” at the 20th National Congress, so that he can govern for a long time in the future.
(Editor in charge: Wen Hui)
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