Published: Mon, March 05, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

China says lifting term limits is about protecting authority of party

China says lifting term limits is about protecting authority of party

Spokesman of the National People's Congress Zhang Yesui said Sunday the constitutional amendment is only aimed at bringing the office of the president in line with rules on Xi's other positions atop the party and a military commission. That move follows complaints that China isn't open enough about how it funds its military or what the goals of its massive campaign of expansion and modernization are.

Some people in Western countries should discard the obsolete thinking of zero-sum games and refrain from containing China's development, a leading Chinese scholar on worldwide relations said at the weekend.

"China does not want to fight a trade war with the United States, but we absolutely will not sit by and watch as China's interests are damaged", Zhang, who is a spokesman for parliament and was formerly an ambassador to the United States, said. Reforms should focus on "international rules that have fallen behind the times and no longer align with the shared aspirations of all nations". The U.S. goods trade deficit with China reached a record $375 billion previous year, by far the largest the U.S. had with any country.

Zhang said the Constitution, which reflects the common will of the CPC and Chinese people is China's fundamental law and the general chapter for governing the country well and ensuring national security.

In the speech, Yu also said that CPPCC's ties with other countries viewed as "friends from abroad" would be deepened, the same with efforts in promoting the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative, a development strategy proposed by China that aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa.

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Zhang said all countries adjusted their military spending depending on defensive needs and the state of the economy.

Trump believes the tariffs will safeguard American jobs, but many economists say the impact of price increases for users of steel and aluminum, such as the auto and oil industries, will destroy more jobs than curbs on imports create.

However, China's publicly announced defense spending has never been accurate since it omits a significant amount of "off-book" expenditures on defense equipment projects, said Peter Jennings, executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute in Canberra. The president-elect also vowed to impose a 45-percent tariff on imports from China, blaming the cheap imports for the loss of jobs in the United States.

He said policy communication is going deeper, cooperation mechanisms are being strengthened and collaboration on the ground is unfolding across the board.

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