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making it official

Chinese parliament formally approves Xi's indefinite rule

China's National People's Congress on Sunday formally approved a constitutional change that will permit President Xi Jinping to stay in office indefinitely. The proposal to remove presidential term limits was introduced two weeks ago, and it quickly became evident the amendment would pass. Only two of the 2,964 delegates voted no, and just three abstained.

This change makes Xi China's most powerful leader since the death of Mao Zedong, but in comments to reporters after the vote, Shen Chunyao, chair of the parliament's Legislative Affairs Commission, rejected worries about autocracy. "I think that does not exist," Shen said. "So, going forward the road we are on will definitely be longer and wider, and the future brighter and brighter."

State-managed media outlets in China have reported strong public support for Xi's new power, but Beijing's censorship and surveillance apparatus has been busy suppressing dissent on social media. Xi's anti-corruption efforts have won him significant popularity, but it is difficult to determine the majority view. "Our opinion is quickly censored," one Beijing resident told The Associated Press. "This is China. What can we do about it?"