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00:00:00
>>
APPLAUSE
>> A bold move by China's president met by outrage online. The communist party this weekend announcing a proposal to scrap the two-term limit for presidents, meaning Xi Jinping could stay on indefinitely. Ben Blanchard in Beijing says the news has sparked fierce criticism online, sending state censors into overdrive.
00:00:23
>> As soon as this news was released late afternoon yesterday, if you looked on Weibo, China's version of Twitter, and searched for the terms two-term limit, there wass actually a surprising amount of criticism there, people saying it was not good. People implying that China was heading towards a dictatorship.
00:00:40
And also a lot of people drawing comparisons between China and North Korea, where the ruling Kim Dynasty has been in power since the late 1940s. By late last night, and certainly by this morning, all those comments had been removed and it was no longer possible to search for the specific expression two-term limits.
00:00:57
>> Speculation has swirled for years that President Xi would stay on past his two terms, but analysts say an even bigger power play may be yet to come.>> Now in China, it's actually the party positions and the military positions, ie the head of the party and head of the military.
00:01:15
There are actually much more senior positions than being president. So looking further forward, one move we can also expect to look out for is that Xi Jinping gets some kind of party position, some kind of party title, that will also enable him to remain on in office as head of the party for much longer.
00:01:31
That's where the real power lies in China, in the party, not in the presidency.>> China's parliament will vote on the proposal when it meets in March. Analysts say that officials are fiercely loyal to the party and its strongman leader, and there's little chance it will fail to pass.
00:01:47
MUSIC]