Nation

In a satirical speech to GOP donors, Trump praises China’s Xi for ditching term limits

President Trump chatted with Chinese President Xi Jinping during his visit to Beijing last year.
Andy Wong/Associated Press/file 2017
President Trump chatted with Chinese President Xi Jinping during his visit to Beijing last year.

WASHINGTON — Scholars around the world say term limits are an essential hallmark of a functional democracy, a tool to check corruption and promote accountability. But on Saturday, President Trump hinted that he may have other ideas.

In a freewheeling speech to Republican donors at his Florida estate, Trump praised Chinese President Xi Jinping for ditching term limits, according to a recording of the speech obtained by CNN.

‘‘Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot some day,’’ Trump said.

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Xi’s Communist Party recently proposed scrapping the part of the Chinese Constitution that limits presidents to no more than two terms.

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Trump joked about the move in his speech, saying Xi is now ‘‘president for life.”

“No, he’s great,’’ Trump said. “And, look, he was able to do that. I think it’s great.’’ Trump has repeatedly praised Xi, while saying little about human rights issues in China.