Xi Jinping sets himself up to be China’s leader for life

China’s ruling Communist Party has proposed removing a limit of two consecutive terms for the country’s president, the official news agency said Sunday, appearing to lay the groundwork for party leader Xi Jinping to rule as president beyond 2023.

Xi became leader in 2012 as head of a reduced seven-member committee on which he had only one reliable ally, veteran Wang Qishan. Wang was put in charge of a sweeping anti-corruption crackdown that helped Xi eliminate challengers, both serving and retired, and cow potential opponents.

Xi, whose titles include head of the armed forces, has lavished attention on the military with parades and defense budget increases. But he’s also led a crackdown on abuses and a push to cut 300,000 personnel from the 2.3 million-member People’s Liberation Army, underscoring his ability to prevail against entrenched interests.

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