10 March 2023

China’s Xi Jinping awarded third term as president

10 March 2023

Chinese leader Xi Jinping has been awarded a third five-year term as president, putting him on track to stay in power for life.

The endorsement of Mr Xi’s appointment by the ceremonial National People’s Congress (NPC) on Friday was a foregone conclusion for a leader who has sidelined potential rivals and filled the top ranks of the ruling Communist Party with his supporters since taking power in 2012.

The vote for Mr Xi was 2,952 to 0 by the NPC, members of which are appointed by the ruling party.

Mr Xi, 69, had himself named to a third five-year term as party general secretary in October, breaking with a tradition under which Chinese leaders handed over power once a decade.

A two-term limit on the figurehead presidency was deleted from the Chinese constitution earlier, prompting suggestions he might stay in power for life.

No candidate lists were distributed and Mr Xi and others were believed to have run unopposed. For the most part, the election process remains shrouded in secrecy.

Mr Xi was also unanimously named commander of the 2 million-member People’s Liberation Army, a force that explicitly takes its orders from the party rather than the country.

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