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Xi Jinping unanimously elected for second term as China's president

18 March, 2018, 01:21 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • Xi reelected Chinese leader in unanimous vote by lawmakers

China's Parliament today officially crowned Xi Jinping as President for the second five-year-term which is unlikely to be his last, in the week in which he stamped his authority over the Communist Party at the ongoing National People's Congress (NPC).

The National People's Congress, China's rubber-stamp legislature, also appointed close Xi ally Wang Qishan to the formerly ceremonial post of vice president. Xi, 64, got his name written into the constitution and party charter - putting him on a status equal to Mao Zedong - and laid the groundwork for breaking the precedent of handing over power after two complete terms.

This is a crucial period for President Xi, who has sidelined his critics and rivals and seen his "Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era" enshrined in the Communist Party of China's constitution. After Xi came to power in 2012, Wang was charged with overseeing Xi's campaign against corruption, disciplining more than 1.5 million party cadres, including the country's retired security chief and another official once seen as a presidential contender.

Xi received a standing ovation after winning all 2,970 votes for the presidency and Central Military Commission chairman before taking the oath of his office.

When he was vice premier, Wang periodically travelled to the United States, where President Barack Obama once gave the Chinese delegation a signed basketball that the official held up at a press conference.

President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko congratulated Xi Jinping on his re-election as the President of the People's Republic of China.

The congress reelected Xi as president with a vote of 2,970 for to zero against.

"The overall leadership of the Party is the fundamental guarantee for deepening the reform", wrote Yang Xiaodu, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.

Wang may well be called Xi's deputy and may get to handle China's turbulent ties with the U.S. after Donald Trump's election as President.

If Wang does play that role, it would be a very welcome development for many Americans, said Evan Medeiros, who met him several times when serving as senior adviser for Asian affairs in the Obama administration.

According to the report, the powerful global department of the CPC and the Party's Leading Group on Foreign Affairs, which reports directly to President Xi are expected to merge.

Observer said that Wang would be among a new, stronger foreign policy team to be fully unveiled on Monday with the election of the cabinet. Post the voting, Xi was given a standing ovation by the legislatures while he shook hands with Wang.



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