Xi Jinping Secures Third Term as China’s President
According to Reuters, nearly 3,000 members of China’s rubber-stamp parliament, the National People’s Congress (NPC), voted unanimously in the Great Hall of the People for the 69-year-old Xi in an election in which there was no other candidate.
Xi has taken China on a more authoritarian path since assuming control a decade ago, and he extends his tenure for another five-year term amid increasingly adversarial relations with the U.S. and its allies over Taiwan, Beijing’s backing of Russia, trade and human rights.
Domestically, China faces a challenging recovery from three years of Xi’s zero-COVID policy, fragile confidence among consumers and businesses and weak demand for China’s exports.
The economy grew just 3% last year, among its worst performances in decades. During the parliament session the government set a modest growth target for this year of just around 5%.
“In his third term, Xi will need to focus on economic revival,” said Willy Lam, senior fellow at the Jamestown Foundation, a U.S. think tank.
“But if he continues with what he has been doing – tighter party and state control over the private sector and confrontation with the West, his prospects for success won’t be encouraging.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin was among the first foreign leaders to congratulate Xi on his third term. The two sealed a “no limits” partnership between China and Russia in February last year, days before Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine.
The presidency is largely ceremonial, and Xi’s main position of power was extended last October when he was reconfirmed for five more years as general secretary of the central committee of the Communist Party.
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