China sets stage for Xi’s historic grab to rule indefinitely

BEIJING

BEIJING (AP) — President Xi Jinping is poised to make a historic power grab as China’s legislators gather from Monday to approve changes that will let him rule indefinitely and undo decades of efforts to prevent a return to crushing dictatorship.

This year’s gathering of the ceremonial National People’s Congress has been overshadowed by Xi’s surprise move to end constitutional two-term limits on the presidency. Announced just a week ago, the changes would allow Xi to extend his rule over the world’s second largest economy possibly for life.

The move is widely seen as the culmination of the 64-year-old Xi’s efforts since being appointed leader of the ruling Communist Party in 2012 to concentrate power in his own hands and defy norms of collective leadership established over the past two decades.

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