Xi Jinping is entering the final years of his second five-year term

Op-Ed: In China, Xi Jinping is getting an unprecedented third term. What should the world expect? (CNN) — President Xi Jinping is entering the final years of his second five-year term on Saturday, as…

Xi Jinping is entering the final years of his second five-year term

Op-Ed: In China, Xi Jinping is getting an unprecedented third term. What should the world expect?

(CNN) — President Xi Jinping is entering the final years of his second five-year term on Saturday, as the United States, China’s closest global ally, and other players ponder who will be the next in line to lead China.

President Xi, who has been head of one of the world’s largest and most populous countries for about a decade, is scheduled to visit the leaders of the European Union and other nations in the Asia-Pacific region at the end of the three-day G-20 summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, Saturday morning.

There was speculation that Xi’s visit could have something to do with a looming US election in November, when it is expected that the incumbent President Barack Obama will decide whether to seek a second four-year term.

But Xi’s trip is widely expected to be symbolic, and not tied to the United States. It may show Xi is not ready to step down as head of state, and thus the end of his five-year term, after serving as China’s paramount leader.

The visit is in contrast to the last visit Xi made to the United States in 2012, when he was also in the final weeks of his second five-year term.

“This visit is not political, it has nothing to do with that,” said Michael Pillsbury, an associate professor at the US National University’s Asia-Pacific Security Program and a former State Department official in the Obama adminstration.

“Xi is trying to show he’s a great leader who is not subject to politics, and it’s important for the PRC, or the party, to reinforce that,” Pillsbury told CNN.

It also shows Xi is not ready to leave China, he said.

The fact that he is not seeking re-election is significant, said

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