The global influence of China can hardly be missed. For 3 decades the country lifted millions of its people out of poverty and has emerged an economic powerhouse from a struggling nation that it was decades ago.

But now, its political leadership has taken a decision that has left many wondering if the country wants to reverse all the gains it has made.

On Sunday, the Chinese rubber-stamp parliament almost unanimously passed a series of constitutional amendments, including one that removes presidential term limits, allowing its current President Xi Jinping to remain in office forever.

The announcement of the vote, witnessed by reporters in the Great Hall of the People, passed with two “no” votes and three abstentions among almost 3,000 delegates.

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China’s ruling Communist Party proposed the amendment last month and there was never any doubt it would pass as parliament is packed with loyal party members who would not have opposed the proposal.

Reuters reports that in the run up to the vote, critics on social media attacked the move and compared it to North Korea or suggested that a Mao Zedong-type cult of personality was forming.

But the government quickly mounted a propaganda push, blocking some articles and publishing pieces praising the party.

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