US President Donald Trump has said that China’s move to scrap term-limits, clearing the way for its leader Xi Jinping to rule indefinitely, is “great.”
During a closed-door event in Florida on Saturday, Trump suggested that he would not mind an unlimited remit himself: “Don’t forget China’s great… and Xi is a great gentleman – he’s now president for life. President for life. No, he’s great. And look, he was able to do that. I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot some day.”
Tapes of the speech were obtained by CNN: “He’s the most powerful president in 100 years… you know, person… in 100 years, in China. And he treated us tremendously well when I went over there.”
The official Xinhua news agency reported last Sunday that the party’s Central Committee has proposed removing from the constitution a stipulation stating that the president and vice-president “shall serve no more than two consecutive terms.”
Trump was speaking about Xi to Republican donors during a fundraiser at his Mar-a-logo estate.
‘Decision for China’
On Tuesday, the White House said that the matter of term limits was an internal matter for Beijing, and Trump supported them for the US.
“I believe that’s a decision for China to make,” said spokeswoman Sarah Sanders. “The president has talked about term limits in a number of capacities during the campaign and something that he supports here in the United States, but that’s a decision that’s up to China.”