MARK BARNES: Extending the rule of leaders beyond their sell-by dates creates enduring staleness
Get into power, stay in power — that’s the cardinal rule of politics. We’re seeing it applied more and more, across the world. I’ll take a small bet that Xi Jinping, head of the Communist Party and president of China, will remain in those positions for at least three terms (he’s just started his second), and probably for life. It won’t be the first time China has endured for-life rulers — remember Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping. There can be no question that Xi’s first term in office has yielded extraordinary results in dealing with corruption and driving China’s ambition (and progress) towards being a world superpower, economically and otherwise. In 2017’s marathon party address he made it clear that a number of landmarks still had to be achieved to deliver the "modern China" but that it would take until 2035 to get there — long-term planning indeed.