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.
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."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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'. Print Edition | Subscribe