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Xi before his speech at the party congress. Photo: Xinhua/Pang Xinglei via Getty Images

China’s Communist Party announced Sunday that it will eliminate term limits on the presidency, allowing Xi Jinping to serve indefinitely rather than step down in five years' time.

The big picture: Xi, 64, has set an incredibly ambitious foreign policy, and more firmly established China as a rival to U.S. influence around the world. At home, he has ruled as a strongman with no tolerance for dissent, and methodically removed nearly all checks on his power. Here’s how he has positioned himself as, essentially, China’s emperor for life.

Rise to — and consolidation of — power
  • October 2007: After 25 years in a series of government posts across four provinces, Xi, the son of a former high-ranking official who was purged from the party in the 1960s, is named to the Politburo standing committee.
  • March 2008: Xi becomes China’s vice president, and is expected to succeed president Hu Jintao.
  • March 2013: Xi replaces Hu as China’s president. He quickly sends signals that he will seek to expand China’s influence and centralize power in his own hands, including the unveiling of the Belt and Road initiative and the formation of a new National Security Commission.
  • April 2016: State media refers to Xi as commander in chief of China’s new Joint Operations Command, underlining his control over the military.
  • October 2016: Xi is named the party’s “core leader,” a title given to three previous Chinese leaders but not to Hu.
  • October 2017: At the Party Congress in Beijing, "Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” is enshrined into the constitution, making Xi the first leader since Mao to be named in the constitution during his lifetime.
    • Xi also declined to name two younger officials to the standing committee, signaling he has no interest in grooming potential successors.
  • February 2018: The term limits decision brings to an end the transition process created to ensure stable transitions within the party, and suggests Xi plans to stay on long after his second term ends in 2023.

Go deeper

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Cuomo at a Feb. 24 press conference. Photo: Seth Wenig/pool/AFP via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) was defiant on Sunday, stating again that he would not resign even as more former aides have come forward with allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior.

The big picture: Cuomo has denied all sexual harassment allegations against him and said that he "never inappropriately touched anybody." He acknowledged in a statement that "some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation." Some of the calls for Cuomo to resign have come from within the Democratic party.

N.Y. Times faces culture clashes as business booms

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

New York Times columnist David Brooks' resignation from a paid gig at a think tank on Saturday is the latest in a flurry of scandals that America's biggest and most successful newspaper company has endured in the past year.

Driving the news: Brooks resigned from the Aspen Institute following a BuzzFeed News investigation that uncovered conflicts of interest between his reporting and money he accepted from corporate donors for a project called "Weave" that he worked on at the nonprofit.

America rebalances its post-Trump news diet

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Nearly halfway through President Biden's first 100 days, data shows that Americans are learning to wean themselves off of news — and especially politics.

Why it matters: The departure of former President Trump's once-ubiquitous presence in the news cycle has reoriented the country's attention.