Xi’s Re-Election: What does his third term mean for China and the World?

On Sunday, October 23rd, Xi Jinping won re-election for his third term as president of China. This breaks the former two-term policy overturned by Xi in 2018, allowing him to be president for life. So what makes Xi’s third term significant? As Freedom House put it in a press release, “If past is prologue, a third term for Xi will cause more human rights abuses within China and more aggressive suppression of free speech globally, even as his domestic and foreign policies backfire and public outrage intensifies”

So what will this look like for China? Xi’s third term will most likely mean stricter enforcement of his existing policies. One of these policies is the “Zero Covid Policy” which heavily restricts borders and sends whole cities into total lockdown. The strict enforcement of the lockdown has caused delays in emergency response teams, making this policy deadly in several cases. One case was when a 55-year-old mother fell to death in her locked-down apartment because the entrance to the apartment was barricaded. The other case is when a 3-year-old suffering from gas poisoning in their locked down residence died because of the delay in response from medics because of the Covid restriction.

Censorship and political violence are likely going to increase with Xi’s third term. According to the New York Times, “Xi Jinping will continue his genocidal policy toward the Uyghurs.” On top of that, during Xi’s existing term he has violently jailed and silenced journalists and opposition. Along with this, he has also been continuing to tighten existing restrictions on internet access.

So, will China ever get out of Xi’s dictatorship? As Democracy Paradox says, “Many political thinkers wonder whether China will become a democracy. Some think it is inevitable, while others believe it is impossible.”