So recently, during the Two Sessions here in Beijing, China changed their constitution, getting rid of term limits for the president. Originally established by Deng Xiaoping, the term limits, 2 terms of 5 years each, were set in place to avoid another Mao incident. It worked for a few decades, and then along came Xi. Consolidating his power, getting rid of rivals through "handling corruption", and now abolishing term limits, Xi is here to stay.
I've talked with many Chinese about their thoughts on this and they are all supportive of it. I can't be sure of the genuineness of their answer, or if they just don't dare speak their mind in a country where those who do tend to be met with consequences. "We're updating the constitution", "It's refreshing", "The modern age requires it" are all justifications for what has happened. For me, it's frightening. I don't trust China and now that the leader, one who has increased censorship during his time in office, has put himself in place to never be politically challenged, I think it's time for me to start thinking about my departure.
The United States is not perfect, and to be sure, there is a lot of political bullshit, but at the very least, we have a system of checks and balances. China's NPC is very much a rubber-stamp meant to approve whatever Xi and the Politburo place before them. I don't trust China because I think the country is very manipulative. One example of this is during the Two Sessions, many foreign press were invited and placed at the front of the room when the Premier and other ministers were scheduled for interviews. However, they weren't allowed to ask questions because questions needed to first be vetted (read: they wanted softball questions from domestic reporters). The only reason foreign journalists were invited was because when televised, it would make the Two Sessions look like it was important on an international scale because "Hey look, white people are here".
If all goes according to plan, I plan to leave China around July 2019. I don't know where I'll go, or what I'll do, but Beijing is wearing me out and I think it's important to make a change in my life before I turn 30. There's still a long way to go before then, so I'll wait before I get sentimental. For now, I'm keeping my eye on my goals, and the Chinese government. It will definitely be an interesting next couple of years in China, but I hope I'm not here to see them.