Word 2013 cannot open large file saved by Word 2010

I have a large thesis (~500 pages) that can be opened and saved fine within Word 2010. However, I cannot open it with Word 2013. I get the following error:

We're sorry. We can't open thesis.docx because we found a problem with its contents.

Operation aborted: max-element-depth constraint violated.
Location: Part: /word/webSettings.xml, Line: 2, Column: 53870


A subsequent dialog box does allow me to recover the file. However, a further Show Repairs dialog has a single "Summary Info 1" item that does not provide extra information. Moreover, even after saving again, errors are continuously being found in the document every time it is opened. There is no permanent way to resolve these errors.

Question Info

Last updated January 10, 2019 Views 6,200 Applies to:
Yes. After recovery, I do save it with a new file name. When I try to open the new file, it gives the same error.

By renaming thesis.docx to thesis.docx.zip I could extract the webSettings.xml file. Its contents do look highly suspicious (although balanced) in terms of how deeply the nesting structure is. I don't know how to attach any files here (copying the contents removes all whitespace), so I have sent you this file via email.

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