The announced changes in the term of the President and Vice President of China have created a mini storm in the Western media. We are in a period when news about China is negative. That is the way it is.
Is China reverting to one man rule? I do not think so but it is not unexpected that is said of this change.
Many countries change their terms of office, and many do not have fixed terms. But, it is the combination of a single party system with this change that leads to a suggestion it means one man rule.
Xi was appointed China’s leader by the Party and his position after 2022 will be decided by the Party. Can he control a complex economy like China to the point that he can determine his own future? I doubt it. This is not the small economy of the 50’s and 60’s.
China allowed Deng to lead China from 1978 to 1994/5 without a formal position at all. He was not subject to any review, any term.
Xi was chosen back in 2004/5 to be the new leader from 2012. He is considered by many to be a modest and good leader, moving China through a great transformation to 2035 and then to 2049. The changes are major and the time for a change of leadership depends on the passage of change.
China is in transition and during this period there is no logic to fixed terms. Changes in leadership should relate to achieving goals that enable change to occur.
Our nations in the West moved out of their Industrial Revolutions towards the end of the 19th Century and towards a new era from the beginning of the 20th century.
We did that without fixed terms but the economy was managed by Government by exception. The Chinese economy is managed by the Government and Party towards goals in 2021, 2035 and 2049. So as they move through those changes they will change leaders as needed.
At the moment there is resistance to the change brought on by the anti-corruption programme. Some who want to hang on to their ill-gotten gains, or want the power they used to have, might well feel there is only two or three years and then Xi is a dying leader, and the battle for a new leader starts.
China does not need to be thrown back into a leadership battle in 2020 just when the new economy is finally being put into place.
There is no certainty that President Xi will stay in office beyond 2022. If he does the Party is powerful enough to tell him when time is time. China is too complex for a single person to usurp power.
This is my opinion