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Chinese state media defends removing presidential term limits

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese state media on Monday attacked critics of ending presidential term limits, which effectively now allows President Xi Jinping to stay in office indefinitely, saying the key to China’s path was following the Communist Party.

China’s largely rubber stamp parliament on Sunday overwhelmingly voted to amend the constitution, scrapping term limits and adding clauses to further strengthen the party’s already dominating role in politics.

In the run up to the vote, critics on Chinese social media attacked the move and drew parallels to North Korea or suggested a Mao Zedong-type cult of personality was forming. The party only announced the proposals last month.

In an editorial, widely-read tabloid the Global Times said Western political theories were of no use to China.

“We are increasingly confident that the key to China’s path lies in upholding strong Party leadership and firmly following the leadership of the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core,” it said.

“In these years we have seen the rise and decline of countries and particularly the harsh reality that the Western political system doesn’t apply to developing countries and produces dreadful results.”

The official China Daily reiterated a point previously made by the party’s People’s Daily that the amendment did not “imply lifetime tenure for any leader”.

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