US President Donald Trump has praised Chinese President Xi Jinping after the ruling Communist Party reportedly declared plans to eliminate a two-term limit for the presidency, paving the way for Xi to serve indefinitely.
In a closed-door fundraiser in the state of Florida on Saturday, Trump further expressed hope that the US may have a president for life some day, according to audio excerpts of his remarks carried by CNN.
“He’s now president for life, president for life. And he’s great. And look, he was able to do that. I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot someday,” Trump said to cheers and applause from his supporters.
The US president also criticized his Democratic presidential opponent Hillary Clinton in 2016, repeated his view about “a rigged system,” and called the military invasion of Iraq as “the single worst decision ever made.” He further referred to former President George W. Bush as “another real genius.”
During the remarks, Trump commended his Chinese counterpart as “a great gentleman” and added, “He’s the most powerful (Chinese) president in a hundred years.” He also said that Xi had treated him “tremendously well” during his visit in November.
This is while the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment late Saturday.
Trump has often praised Xi, but in January he stated that Washington was considering a big “fine” as part of a probe into China’s alleged theft of intellectual property. He has also been critical of China’s trade policies.
The US president told The New York Times in December that he had “been soft on China because the only thing more important to me than trade is war.”