China to solidify Xi's grip on power at annual congress


Xinhua said that China's recent reorganization of its military cut in half the number of "land force personnel among the entire" People's Liberation Army. On Monday, as China's annual parliament gathering begins, it is expected to ratify the proposal. "It is also conducive to the unified state leadership system", he said.

"If it gets approved, you can describe his attempt to abolish term limits as really to make China medieval again, not to make China great again", said Warren Sun, a historian of the Chinese Communist Party at Australia's Monash University.

China decried the US strategic posture as "Cold War mentality".

"There are a lot of questions on the minds of countries in the region and extending beyond the region of what exactly does this mean. The EU will react firmly and commensurately to defend our interests".

In the East and South China Seas, China is simply trying to stand up for itself, the China Daily said. "Our jobs and wealth are being given to other countries that have taken advantage of us for years".

In Australia and the United States, law enforcement officials have warned about Chinese government attempts to influence national politics and public opinion, as well as monitor the activities and speech of Chinese students studying overseas.

China sought to justify its controversial plan to allow President Xi Jinping to rule without term limits at the opening of its legislature on Monday, citing an "overwhelming appeal" from the party and the public to do so.

Official Chinese defence spending is about one-quarter that of the United States, though many foreign analysts and diplomats say China under-reports the figure.

Speaking during a tightly packed conference at the country's capital, Beijing yesterday, the spokesperson for this year's NPC meet, Mr. Zhang Yesui, said the constitution was being amended because it was important to adapt to "changing circumstances".

"We will be bolder in reform and opening up", said Li in a nationally televised speech to almost 3,000 delegates to the ceremonial legislature in the Great Hall of the People.

The decision by Washington is expected to come into force next week, and other USA partners including European Union and Canada have also reacted negatively.

"But Beijing has stuck to its own template and was not disturbed by external factors".

The meeting will adopt the policy agenda for China's government this year following a Communist party meeting last October, where President Xi Jinping declared a "new era" in which quality-of-life issues would take precedence over meeting numerical targets.

China's ruling Communist Party last month proposed removing a two-term limit on presidential terms, a suggestion nearly sure to be adopted by the country's rubberstamp parliament during its annual session starting March 5.