China’s president Xi Jinping secured his third five-year term in an unprecedented move to tighten his grip to become the country’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong.
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 Xi to be president in an election where there was no other candidate. Voting lasted for about an hour and the electronic counting was completed in about 15 minutes.
For Xi, the stage was set for another term when he did away with presidential term limits in 2018. Last October, his power was already extended when he was reconfirmed for another five years as general secretary of the central committee of the ruling Communist Party.
Over the next two days, officials approved by Xi are set to be appointed or elected to fill top positions in the cabinet, including premier-in-waiting Li Qiang, who is expected to be named to China’s No. 2 post, putting him in charge of managing the world’s second-largest economy.