China heading toward ‘New Era’ with extended Xi powers  

This file picture taken on October 24, 2017 shows a man walking past a roadside poster of Chinese President Xi Jinping after the closing of the 19th Communist Party Congress in Beijing. (AFP)

These are the headlines we are tracking for you in this episode of On the News Line:

China heading toward ‘New Era’ with extended Xi powers

China’s Communist Party on Tuesday elevated the status of President Xi Jinping to make him the most powerful ruler in Chinese history since the nation’s founding father Mao Zedong. The historic decision came when the Party at the end of its twice-a-decade meeting approved to write Xi’s name and ideas to its Constitution. This has now sent a clear signal to officials throughout China that questioning President Xi and his policies would be ideological heresy. And it has already solidified his position as the country’s most powerful leader in decades only after five years of leading the country. The elevation of President Xi has also made it harder for rivals to challenge him and his policies. These are generally believed to have serious impacts both on China’s domestic front as well as its relations with the international community.

Abe set for constitutional reform after elections win

The party of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe strongly defeated opposition parties in Sunday’s general elections. Abe’s ruling coalition managed to keep its two-thirds supermajority in the 465-member lower house. The win comes despite the premier’s low personal popularity. Abe’s ratings dived in recent months because of several embarrassing political scandals. But the public has apparently decided that his agenda provides the right path for Japan at the moment. Following Sunday’s landslide victory, the Japanese premier sees constitutional reform within his grasp. The supermajority will now make it much easier for Abe to change Japan’s defense doctrine.

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