China's parliament has amended the constitution to remove the limit on presidential terms. This would allow President Xi Jinping to stay in power indefinitely.
The 13th National People's Congress, the national legislature has a strength of 2,980 deputies. A total of 2,964 votes were cast in favour of the amendment. Two voted against the amendment while three abstained and one vote was marked invalid.
Xi who assumed office in March 2013 began his second term in October 2017. He received over 99.89 per cent of the total votes. Without the amendment, Xi's term would have come to an end in 2023.
To the international criticism that this could lead to one-man dictatorship, China said that this was false and the amendment had the support of the people.
"This amendment when it was brought in was applauded twice by the members. Without political support and support of society this would not have happened. There is no problem with this amendment," said 12th NPC Standing Committee's Commission for Legislative Affairs Chairman Shen Chunyao.