Xi Jinping was re-elected today in the People’s Congress of China for a historic third term as president. All 2,952 members present voted in favour, in an election whose result was predetermined.
Xi Jinping had the law changed in 2018, which stated that a president can only serve two terms. In doing so, he paved the way for a lifetime appointment.
The election of Xi and other senior government officials is highly secretive. For example, no lists of candidates have been made public, so it is not known whether there were any opposing candidates. It is assumed that this is not the case for all high positions.
Xi was applauded:
Xi was re-elected leader of the Communist Party at last year’s party congress. There it also became clear that Zhao Leji, a confidant of the president, was likely to become chairman of the People’s Congress. That has now been officially confirmed. Zhao’s position is mostly ceremonial.
In a ceremony, Xi and Zhao were sworn in by hand on a copy of the Chinese constitution. More political positions will be officially filled in the coming days.
The appointments make it clear that Xi has completely manipulated the course of events. The Politburo Standing Committee, the main government committee, also consists exclusively of confidants.
Growth target of 5 percent
The assembly of the People’s Congress started last Sunday and in the first days the government’s plans were announced. It became clear that the country is aiming for a cautious economic recovery. Outgoing Prime Minister Li Keqiang presented a growth target of around 5 percent, the lowest growth target since the 1970s. Military spending in the country was also announced to increase by 7.2 percent.
The People’s Congress will last a total of eight days and will conclude next Monday.
- China increases defense budget and aims for modest economic growth
- Unique third term for Xi, but especially surprised his party cadre
- Former President Hu Jintao escorted away from China Party Congress, but why?