Xi Jinping confirmed for unprecedented third term as China’s president

Xi Jinping started an unprecedented third time period as China’s president on Friday, cementing the Chinese language chief’s unchallenged grip on energy amid rising tensions with the US and deepening financial challenges at dwelling.

In a solemn ceremony at Beijing’s Nice Corridor of the Individuals, China’s strongest chief since Mao Zedong was sworn in as head of state for one more 5 years.

Whereas the formal appointment was largely ceremonial — Xi secured the extra highly effective posts as head of China’s Communist occasion and navy management on the occasion congress in October — his reinstatement as head of state comes at a delicate second for China’s relations with the world.

Underneath stress from Washington’s export controls on semiconductors, allegations of spying and scrutiny of Beijing’s shut relationship with Moscow, Xi this week explicitly named the US because the chief of a western effort to include China. Whereas he usually engages in nationalist rhetoric, the Chinese language chief hardly ever straight criticises the US.

“I feel the largest change is absolutely the collapse of China’s relations with the US prior to now 10 years,” mentioned Minxin Pei, professor of presidency at Claremont McKenna School in California and writer of quite a few books on China, of Xi’s first decade in energy. Pei added that with the Chinese language financial system struggling, reigniting a way of optimism can be one of many president’s greatest challenges going ahead.

“How can he rebalance, how can he make folks extra optimistic whereas saying there’s this huge ugly adversary on the market making an attempt to choke us off?” Pei mentioned.

Xi’s appointment was handed with 2,952 votes in favour and 0 towards on the annual assembly of the Nationwide Individuals’s Congress, China’s rubber-stamp parliament whose members are appointed by the occasion.

Friday’s announcement of a 3rd time period completes a course of Xi began in 2018 by abolishing two-term limits on the presidency, successfully permitting him to rule for all times if he chooses.

Xi promised “to work exhausting to construct a affluent, robust, democratic, civilised, harmonious and exquisite fashionable socialist nation” in taking the oath of workplace, which adopted the Chinese language nationwide anthem and an honour guard that escorted a replica of the structure into the Nice Corridor of the Individuals.

Russia’s president Vladimir Putin congratulated Xi on Friday, hailing his “private contribution” to strengthening the international locations’ “complete partnership” and anticipating additional “fruitful Russian-Chinese language co-operation”, in keeping with an announcement launched by the Kremlin.

China’s financial system is anticipated to rebound this 12 months after development fell to one of many lowest ranges in a long time in 2022 due to Xi’s draconian zero-Covid insurance policies, however economists are involved that medium-term development will likely be tougher to realize.

The property sector and native governments proceed to wrestle with debt, and efforts to rebalance the financial system away from funding and in the direction of consumption have but to bear fruit.

The congress additionally appointed vice-premier Han Zheng as vice-president, a largely ceremonial function.

Whereas Han is a political survivor from the period of the late president Jiang Zemin, he’s anticipated to have little affect within the present authorities, mentioned Wu Qiang, an unbiased political commentator in Beijing.

On the occasion congress in October, Xi was capable of stack the Communist occasion’s prime decision-making physique, the Politburo Standing Committee, with shut allies.

“With all Xi’s folks within the standing committee and prime positions, Han Zheng will stay underneath Xi’s shadow and play a really restricted function,” mentioned Wu.

The parliament additionally confirmed Zhao Leji, an in depth ally of Xi, as its new chair. He was previously head of the occasion’s robust inner investigation company, the Central Fee for Self-discipline Inspection.

“It exhibits Xi is glad with Zhao’s work within the CCDI,” mentioned Wu.

Extra reporting by Xinning Liu and Nian Liu in Beijing

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