BEIJING – China on Monday sought to dismiss the worldwide concerns over the prospect of President Xi Jinping becoming the “emperor for life”, saying a strong and consistent leadership is needed for the country at this crucial stage of the country’s modernisation.

The Communist Party of China, (CPC), which is in power since 1949, yesterday proposed to amend the country’s Constitution to remove the two-term limits for the President and Vice President, potentially allowing Xi to rule for life.

The CPC move triggered concerns as 64-year-old Xi would remain a single leader doing away with collective leadership system followed by the party to prevent a dictatorship of an individual emerging from the ranks.

Asked about the global concerns over the spectre of authoritarian rule returning to haunt China with the elimination of the two-term rule for the top leader, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said the media should stop guessing and speculating and put the constitutional amendment in proper perspective.

He said China’s Constitution evolved “little by little” since it came into force in 1954.

“We hope that you can put the revision of the Constitution in perspective in the context of the development of China,” he said.

Last October, Xi started his second five-year-term with a focus on transforming China, now the world’s second-largest economy, into “a mighty force” that could lead the world on political, economic, military and environmental issues.

CPC proposes removal of two-term limit for president, sets stage for Xi Jinping to rule beyond 2022