TIME

China steps closer to despotism as Xi becomes leader for life

Xi cemented his power at the Communist Party Congress in October; now, he wants to hold on to it

THE STATEMENT WAS ONLY 36 words long, but it contained a bombshell that reverberated around the world on Feb. 24: China’s ruling Communist Party (CCP) is abolishing the nation’s presidential term limit of two five-year periods.

This means President Xi Jinping can now rule the world’s most populous nation for as long as he desires, raising fears that the Asian superpower is lurching back to dictatorship. “This

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