World News

China’s parliament re-elects Xi Jinping as president

BEIJING: China’s largely rubber-stamp parliament on Saturday unanimously re-elected Xi Jinping as the country’s president.

The vote was witnessed by journalists inside central Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, it is reported.

The legislature is packed with delegates loyal to the ruling Communist Party meaning Xi’s re-election was never in doubt. On Sunday parliament voted to amend the constitution to remove presidential term limits, meaning Xi can stay indefinitely.

Xi received a standing ovation after winning all 2,970 votes at the annual session of the National People’s Congress. In 2013, Xi had received 2,952 votes, with one against and three abstentions, a 99.86 percent share.

Only one delegate voted against Wang, who received 2,969 votes in favour.

Elevating Wang, 69, allows Xi to keep a formidable ally by his side, as China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong cements his authority and sets his sights on a possible lifelong tenure.

Wang was at the frontline of Xi’s anti-corruption crusade, heading the party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, which punished 1.5 million officials in the past five years, from low-level cadres to regional leaders and generals. He stepped down last year.

Known internationally in his previous role as China’s pointman on trade, Wang could help Xi deal with increasingly tense relations with the United States amid fears of a looming trade war, analysts say.

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