File photo: US President Donald Trump. Photograph:( AFP )
President Donald Trump says he thinks it's great that China's president now holds that office for life and muses that maybe the US will do the same someday.
"He's now president for life. President for life. No, he's great," Trump said. "And look, he was able to do that. I think it's great. Maybe we'll have to give that a shot some day."
Trump's remarks came during a luncheon for Republican donors today at his South Florida estate. CNN reported the remarks based on a recording it obtained.
Trump criticized his Democratic presidential opponent Hillary Clinton, repeated his view about "a rigged system," and called the invasion of Iraq "the single worst decision ever made." He referred to former President George W. Bush as "another real genius."
Trump has repeatedly said that his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, should carry out investigations into Clinton, and has often voiced on to Twitter for not taking what he views as appropriate steps to probe Clinton's actions involving her private email server.
Xi's push to abolish term limits means he will likely remain the most influential leader of the emerging superpower for life and have more time to dedicate to his quest to rejuvenate China's influence at the expense of the US.
It raises questions about America's long-term approach to China, and the possibility that an emboldened Xi will view himself as having even more leeway to aggressively assert territorial claims in the South China Sea and Chinese political and economic influence in Asia and beyond.