After changing China's constitution, Xi calls for military loyalty to it

Right after amending China's constitution, Xi Jinping calls on the military and police to swear allegiance to it

Plates with Xi Jinping (left) and Mao Zedong (right). (By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- At day after securing absolute power after altering China's constitution to end presidential term limits, President Xi Jinping on Monday (March 12) called on the military and police to loyally follow it.

In a speech during a meeting of leaders of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) on Monday, Xi said "The whole army must strengthen its constitutional awareness, promote the constitutional spirit and be a loyal admirer, conscientious follower and staunch defender of the constitution," reported AFP. 

On Sunday (March 11), 2,958 out of 2,964 members of China's National People's Congress in Beijing voted in approval of a package of constitutional amendments that included the removal of a restriction limiting the president to two terms only, a system put in place by Deng Xiaoping in 1982 as an attempt to prevent a repeat of the brutal, lifelong dictatorship of Mao Zedong. 

In an interesting choice of wardrobe, Xi wore a Mao suit at the PLA meeting, as senior military officials dutifully jotted down notes. 

Also during his speech, he made reference to the recent "revolutionary restructuring" of the military's operational structure, which has included the sacking of top leaders on corruption charges and the insertion of many Xi cronies to top positions.

Fang Fenghui, former chief joint of staff has been charged with bribery, while Guo Boxiong, the former Central Military Commission vice chairman, was sentenced to life in prison in 2016. 

In a move some analysis suggest could have been taken to prevent a coup, China's Communist Party earlier this year seized control of the country's paramilitary force, the People's Armed Police (PAP).