Trump liked the idea of a life presidency in the United States

China's annual parliament gathering kicks off on Monday as Xi presses ahead with efforts to ward off financial risks without undermining the economy.

"China will continue to apply the current poverty alleviation standards and ensure that poverty reduction progresses as planned and meets all standards", he said.

The state constitution will therefore also mimic the party constitution in regard to the presidency, Zhang told a news conference. Wang Ying, a businesswoman who has advocated government reforms, called the proposal "an outright betrayal".

China does not provide a breakdown of how it allocates its defence budget, leading neighbours and other military powers to complain that Beijing's lack of transparency has added to regional tension.

Only the US outpaces China in military spending, with Washington's defense outlays running about four times Beijing's, according to the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). For more than two decades Chinese presidents have been limited to two five-year terms, said CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy, reporting from Beijing. No export target was given for the third straight year.

"We will develop intelligent industries", said Li. Cloud computing and big data will be used to make economic controls more targeted, the statement said, without giving more detail. Most analysts had expected it to be maintained or trimmed only slightly.

Improving the political party consultation system is absolutely not a superficial performance; it exists to offer real suggestions, Xi said.

"Although China provides official estimates of defense spending each year, outside estimates of China's defense budget are often significantly higher than Beijing's official numbers", said a report published by the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies earlier this month.

According to a report issued at the opening of China's annual parliament meeting, the 2018 defence budget is 1.11 trillion yuan ($175 billion).

"People in China are very allergic to anything having to do with the return of Mao", Tsang said. He said the military would "firmly and resolvedly safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests".

The growth target of "around 6.5 percent" announced by Premier Li Keqiang to China's ceremonial legislature, little-changed from previous year, would be among the world's strongest if achieved.

The official media justified the increase to United States dollars 175, saying although slightly higher than the previous two years, the growth rate is the third time to dip into the single digit since 2013, following 7.6 per cent in 2016 and 7 per cent in 2017.

China also set its consumer inflation goal at "around 3 per cent", in line with past year, as widely expected.

To hit the 2020 goal, the economy needs to expand at least 6.3 annually over the next three years, officials have said.

It is also conducive to the unified state leadership system "This amendment does not mean changes in the system of retirement for party and state leaders and also does not imply that leaders will have lifetime tenure", the party's mouthpiece said Thursday.

  • Joanne Flowers