Trump praises Xi's move to extend mandate for life

US President Donald Trump with China's President XiJinping in Beijing, China on Nov 9, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON • US President Donald Trump appeared to cheer on his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping for paving the way to a limitless tenure, while delivering a light-hearted address at a Florida fund-raising event.

"He's now President for life," said 71-year-old Mr Trump, eliciting chuckles from the crowd of Republican donors at the closed-door event at his Mar-a-Lago resort, according to a clip published by news outlet CNN.

"And look, he was able to do that. I think it's great."

He garnered even more laughs when he quipped: "Maybe we'll have to give that a shot some day."

Though his comments struck a jocular tone, many on Twitter voiced concern over the prospect of an indefinite Trump presidency.

"Whether this was a joke or not, talking about being president for life like Xi Jinping is the most un-American sentiment expressed by an American president," said Democrat Ro Khanna, a California congressman. "George Washington would roll over in his grave."


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 05, 2018, with the headline Trump praises Xi's move to extend mandate for life. Subscribe