The Communist Party of China and the nation have undergone important and profound changes for more than a decade since 2004 when the Constitution was amended.
Since the 18th CPC National Congress, the Central Committee with President Xi Jinping at the core has led the Chinese people to uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics, promote the overall plan for all-round economic, political, cultural, social and ecological progress and coordinated development for the Four-Pronged Comprehensive Strategy.
This has also involved pushing forward the new project of party building, forming a series of new concepts, thoughts and strategies in the governance of China, pushing for historical achievements and reforms for the development of the Party and nation.
Standing at a new starting point in history, the 19th CPC National Congress made a strategic decision to uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics, set the guiding role of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, put forward a series of major political conclusions, set a new goal and played a guiding role.
Since the foundation of the People’s Republic of China, the Constitution has had an important status and role, especially in the recent 40 years of reform and opening up.
General Secretary Xi Jinping has often stressed that to uphold the rule of law we must adhere to constitution-based governance first.
Proper amendments to the constitution need to be taken into consideration.
These aim to better express the will of the people, embody the advantages of socialism with Chinese characteristics and meet the demands of modernising the national governance system and capacity.
It’s necessary and timely to include important theories, philosophies, strategies and policies adopted at the 19th CPC National Congress, turning China into a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful, realising national rejuvenation, setting the leadership of the Party as the defining feature, revising the term limits for the Chinese President and Vice-President, and deepening the supervisory system reform.
The proposed amendments are of profound significance to fully implementing the spirit of the 19th CPC National Congress, deepening the law-based and constitution-based governance, upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics on the track of rule of law, and extensively mobilising and organising the people of all ethnic groups.
A proposal on amendments to China’s constitution was officially approved during the second plenary session of the CPC Central Committee.
The proposal is to remove the expression that the President and Vice-President “shall serve no more than two consecutive terms” from Article 79 of the country’s Constitution.
The amendment is a vital move, made from the long-term experience of the Party and country, to improve the institutions and mechanisms by which the Party and country exercise leadership.
It was made in accordance with the strategy of adhering to and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.
The Chinese presidential system has experienced a series of changes over the past six decades.
The practice of the system and the development of leadership structure are the keys to understanding the true connotation of Chinese presidential system regulated by the Constitution.
It has been proved over history that a leadership structure in which the top leader of China simultaneously serves as the President, the head of the Party, and the commander-in-chief of the military is an advantageous and adoptable strategy.
Practice is the sole criterion for testing truth. The implementation of the structure will be conducive to the authority and centralised leadership of the CPC Central Committee, and the guidance to the country.
In addition, the structure will guarantee the effective operation of each state organ and national institution, and the promotion of national causes.
Furthermore, it reflects the political and institutional advantages of a socialist country.
The Constitution, with its supreme position in the legal system and its strong legal momentum, has strongly upheld the leadership of CPC, guaranteed that the people are the masters of their own affairs, stimulated reform, opening up and socialist modernisation construction, promoted the process of socialist rule of law, as well as safeguarded national unity, ethnic unity and social stability.
The Constitution is the fundamental legal document that ensures that even though China undergoes all sorts of difficulties, it will continue to advance along the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and realise national rejuvenation.
The writer is editor of ‘China People’s Daily’