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Xi Jinping hits Communist Party's retirement age of 68

Debate over leader's future heats up ahead of 2022 national congress

Chinese President Xi Jinping has hinted that he may be planning to stay on even after the usual retirement age for top Communist Party leaders.   © Reuters

JIAXING, China -- Chinese President Xi Jinping turned 68 this week, the customary retirement age for the Communist Party's top leaders, fueling speculation as to whether he will buck tradition to remain leader at the Communist Party's National Congress in 2022.

Members of the powerful Politburo Standing Committee generally retire if they are 68 or older at the twice-a-decade party congress. Xi, who celebrated his birthday on Tuesday, Li Zhanshu, National People's Congress Standing Committee chair, and Vice Premier Han Zheng would all fall above this threshold at the next party congress.

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