Trump praises Xi's 'power grab'


Washington, March 4: US President Donald Trump has praised his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping for recently consolidating power and extending his potential tenure, musing that he would not mind making such a manoeuver himself, a media report said.

"He's now president for life. President for life. No, he's great," CNN quoted Trump as saying at speech to Republican donors in Florida on Saturday. 

"And look, he was able to do that. I think it's great. Maybe we'll have to give that a shot some day."

Jinping came to power in 2012 and had been expected to rule until 2023, the Guardian reported. 

However, last week it emerged that Xi would attempt to use an annual meeting of China's parliament, which begins on Monday morning, to abolish presidential term limits by changing the Chinese constitution.

However, Liberals have condemned the power grab. 

Xing Hua, a Chinese scholar who agreed to be interviewed, claimed foreign journalists were "over-interpreting" and "over-emphasising" the move. 

"I hope western media can view this proposal in a comprehensive and objective manner," Xing, from the China Institute of International Studies, a state-run think tank, told the Guardian.

However, western experts say they are convinced Xi's plan is to rule for many years to come.