China asks US for talks, liaison to defuse trade tensions

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with steel and aluminum executives in the Cabinet Room of the White House Thursday

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with steel and aluminum executives in the Cabinet Room of the White House Thursday

Xi is also planning to use the National People's Congress' annual meeting in order to appoint allies in key government positions, including the vice president, the central bank chief, and dozens of ministry-level positions. At the moment, he has not yet completed his first.

The Chinese Communist Party claims that strong leadership is needed to realize the "Chinese dream", but it seems more like the Chinese version of Park Chung Hee's "constitutional revision" that allowed him to stay in power in South Korea for almost 16 years. It is, however, the one that has triggered widespread condemnation, in China and elsewhere.

For most heads of state in democratic countries, getting two out of three things you want is pretty good going.

By itself, the end of this term limit is relatively unimportant.

But as President Xi Jinping tightens his grip on power and bids to continue his leadership past a second term, censors have taken the most weird decision yet - to ban the letter "N".

Xi's real power rests on two other roles comprising "the trinity system". After the disastrous "Cultural Revolution" (1966-76), when Mao became more powerful than the party and caused chaos in the country, the Chinese communist party has learnt, for the sake of its own survival, not to create another dictator. There are no term limits on that post.

Xi made the remark while meeting with King Tupou VI of the Kingdom of Tonga, who is making a state visit to China from Wednesday to March 8.

Moreover, as John Pomfret pointed out in the Washington Post, Xi actually targeted an up-and-coming figure, Sun Zhengcai from Chongqing, by having him detained for "serious discipline violations", the code phrase for corruption, ahead of the 19th Congress.

China's President Xi Jinping claps after his speech as he and other new Politburo Standing Committee members meet with the press at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China October 25, 2017.

Many of China's intellectuals have encouraged the legislature to strike down the proposal to life the constitutional term limits. Moreover, successors to a leader, according to the developing Party rules, were picked at the beginning of that leader's second five-year term as general secretary.

President Donald Trump listens during a meeting with steel and aluminum executives in the Cabinet Room of the White House Thursday
At Congress opening, China warns Taiwan against 'separatist schemes' (VIDEO)

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. "An amendment that proposes to do the exact opposite is so unheard of, I didn't expect to encounter it at all".

And there is one other effect.

The decision to scrap term limits was a case in point, Tsang said, noting that party leaders must have foreseen that such a move was going to be deeply unpopular, yet seemed unable - or unwilling - to steer Xi away from it.

Beijing has an array of high-profile targets for retaliation including suppliers of soybeans, the biggest American export to China.

China's rise as a global power has come at the time of West's perpetual decline.

There are many reasons to see catastrophic consequences.

Perth-based China blogger CA Yeung also suggested that N could stand be "infinity", which once again could be used to talk about Xi Jinping's rule, while Twitter user Kasumi Shen said that "N" could be used to represent "No".

These struggles were the result of Xi's hero, Mao Zedong. When Deng Xiaoping emerged from the succession struggle that arose after Mao's death - eventually outmaneuvering Mao's handpicked successor Hua Guofeng - Deng built a political consensus to support his economic changes that emphasized the need for limits on time in office, as well as what has often been termed "collective leadership". To his credit, Deng treated Hua relatively well after removing him from power.

Based on the current rhetoric, it seems likely that as soon as Liu arrives back in Beijing from a fruitless US trip, China will make the next move in a budding trade war.

Marcelo fit for PSG but Zidane unsure on Kroos and Modric
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