Sentinel Project: President of the People's Republic of China

The President of the People’s Republic of China acts as the nation's head of state. However, the presidency is a largely ceremonial office with little true power. As such, the President is also usually the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, and thus has nearly unlimited legal authority to do as he pleases.

Prior to 2018, China's constitution stipulated that a president could not serve more than two terms. An amendment spearhead by Xi Jinping, the current General Secretary and incumbent president, abolished the artificial limits and allows for unlimited appointments.

In 2019, a United States government investigative commission recommended that western powers stop referring to Mr. Jinping as the President of the People's Republic of China, as the title infers he was elected though a free and fair process. In reality, the holder of the position is determined by the CCP. The commission argued that official documents should refer to Xi as General Secretary, as that position is where his true power emanates from.

Last updated Friday, July 3, 2020.