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China Abolishes Term Limits for President


FILE - Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during a joint press briefing at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Jan. 9, 2018.

China’s National People’s Congress voted Sunday to abolish presidential term limits.

The vote sets up a path that current president Xi Jinping could navigate to rule indefinitely.

Xi’s current term ends in 2023, but analysts say he is likely to continue as the country’s leader.

The constitutional amendments approved Sunday will also add Xi Jinping’s political thought and vision to the document, a first for any Chinese leader in office since China’s founder Mao Zedong was in power.

The changes will also assert in clearer terms than ever the communist party’s absolute authority over all affairs and its position as the only political organization fit to rule China.

The move has been met with an unusually high amount of criticism in China. For many Chinese, the political maneuvering for indefinite rule brings up memories of the chaotic reign of Mao Zedong, and the Cultural Revolution, 1966-1976.

Xi’s two predecessors each left office after two terms as China’s leader.

VOA's Bill Ide contributed to this report.

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