Tyrone Siu / Reuters

Xi Jinping is poised to become the first Chinese president in decades to stay in power for more than ten years. Yesterday, the Chinese Communist Party announced its intention to abolish presidential term limits, a decision that will, in effect, allow Xi to remain president for as long as he’d like. We asked Atlantic national correspondent James Fallows, a longtime China hand, to weigh in.

Xi Jinping Makes an Autocrat’s Move

By James Fallows, Atlantic national correspondent

No outsider can know for sure what the latest constitutional change in China will mean. Probably no one inside China can be sure, either. But it can’t mean anything good.

The world already has one Vladimir Putin, running a country whose pride, resentments, and ambitions are large but whose economy is struggling and peripheral to the rest of the world’s. The news from China may mean, in effect, the introduction of another Putin—but one running a country whose economy is equivalent to six of Russia’s, and is intimately connected everywhere.

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