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Xi says 2022 party congress will be 'major event' for China's politics

Statement seen as hint at staying in power for 3rd term

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers his New Year's address to the nation on Dec. 31. (Xinhua via Kyodo)

SHANGHAI -- Chinese President Xi Jinping emphasized Friday the importance of the Communist Party National Congress set for autumn 2022, in what could be interpreted as reflecting his intention to stay on as party chief for a third term.

Xi called the party's 20th congress "a major event in the political life of the party and the country" during a New Year's tea party of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, a political advisory body.

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