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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 house.

In a solemn ceremony at Beijing’s Nice Corridor of the Folks, 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 get together and army management on the get together congress in October — his reinstatement as head of state comes at a delicate second for China’s relations with the world.

Underneath strain 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 comprise China. Whereas he usually engages in nationalist rhetoric, the Chinese language chief not often instantly criticises the US.

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

“How can he rebalance, how can he make individuals extra optimistic whereas saying there may be this large 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 nil in opposition to on the annual assembly of the Nationwide Folks’s Congress, China’s rubber-stamp parliament whose members are appointed by the get together.

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 onerous to construct a affluent, robust, democratic, civilised, harmonious and delightful trendy 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 Folks.

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 accordance with an announcement launched by the Kremlin.

China’s economic system is predicted to rebound this yr after development fell to one of many lowest ranges in many years in 2022 due to Xi’s draconian zero-Covid insurance policies, however economists are involved that medium-term development will probably be harder to attain.

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

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

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 impartial political commentator in Beijing.

On the get together congress in October, Xi was in a position to stack the Communist get together’s high decision-making physique, the Politburo Standing Committee, with shut allies.

“With all Xi’s individuals within the standing committee and high positions, Han Zheng will dwell underneath Xi’s shadow and play a really restricted position,” mentioned Wu.

The parliament additionally confirmed Zhao Leji, a detailed ally of Xi, as its new chair. He was previously head of the get together’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