China’s Xi gains unprecedented third term as president

China’s Xi gains unprecedented third term as president

Xi Jinping

BEIJING — Chinese leader Xi Jinping gained an unprecedented third term as president of the country on Friday.

Xi was widely expected to stay on as president in this month’s largely ceremonial parliamentary meeting, known as the “Two Sessions.” The annual gathering marks the meetings of an advisory group and a legislature, the National People’s Congress.

Delegates to the congress on Friday also formally reappointed Xi as chairman of the Central Military Commission.

Xi rose through China’s political ranks, becoming president in 2013 and abolishing term limits in 2018.

At the Chinese Communist Party’s 20th National Congress in October, Xi consolidated his control of the ruling party by filling the highest circle of leadership with loyalists.

Zhao Leji, a member of that core group who’s overseen party discipline, on Friday formally became the chairman of the National People’s Congress’ standing committee.

After twice-a-decade party congresses, top leaders of the Chinese Communist Party then go on to fill government positions such as president and premier.

Delegates are set to approve China’s new premier on Saturday.

Xi is scheduled to speak at the parliamentary meeting’s closing ceremony on Monday. The new premier is set to speak with the press later that day.

Han Zheng, previously executive vice premier, on Friday formally became vice president. Wang Qishan previously held the role.

Delegates on Friday approved a proposal to restructure the State Council, the Chinese government’s top executive body.

A draft of the plan was released earlier this week, and comes as the ruling Communist Party of China is expected to significantly increase its direct control of the government.


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