Xi Jinping is again the President of China with 100 percent of the vote

A huge screen in Beijing shows re-elected Chinese President Xi Jinping during the National People’s Congress.Reuters photo

Previously, Chinese presidents were only allowed to serve two terms, but Xi changed in 2018. With a third term as party chief and military chief, he can stay in power for life.

Xi was elected chairman of the National People’s Congress, the annual gathering in Beijing of China’s nearly 3,000-member parliament that is largely seen as a voting machine. During the People’s Congress, the Chinese government presents its economic and political plans, and the most important state functions, such as the prime minister and the presidency, are filled.

Earlier this week, the Chinese government unveiled its economic recovery plans at the People’s Congress, with a primary focus on boosting domestic consumption and foreign investment. Beijing has also said it wants to restore confidence among private entrepreneurs. It set a modest growth target of “around 5 percent” for 2023, after severely disrupting the economy due to zero lockdowns and government intervention in 2022.

New world system

New Foreign Minister Chen Gang made a plea for a new world order at the People’s Congress, taking Sino-Russian relations as an example. He accused the United States of trying to suppress China, and warned of “derailment” and “dire consequences”. Beijing also announced a major government reorganization to further centralize the drive for technological self-sufficiency.

In the last days of the People’s Assembly, which ends on Monday, a vote will take place to fill the most important state posts. The leadership of China’s state and government organs largely overlaps with the head of the Communist Party of China, who was appointed at the Party Congress last October. Xi allowed himself a third term as party chairman, and managed to fill the entire party leadership with his confidants.

The way is clear for a third term

Xi initially derives his power from his party’s leadership of the Communist Party of China. In China, this position usually coincides with that of the president and military commander (Chairman of the Central Military Commission). The 2018 constitutional amendment paved the way for a third term as president, the official extension of his most significant third term as party leader.

Xi has enjoyed increasingly centralized and personal power in China over the past decade, as he pursues his mission of the “great resurrection of the Chinese nation.” Xi focuses on state control of the economy, poverty reduction, technological advancement and national pride, but he has curtailed freedom in China. The derailment of the policy of not spreading the virus in 2022, with great economic damage, has led to the largest popular protests in China since 1989, despite the crackdown.

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