President Xi Jinping reaches third term, extends administration


BEIJING (AP) Chinese leader Xi Jinping was given his third five-year term as president on Friday. This is what set him on the path of a lifetime at a time of severe economic challenges and heightened tensions with the United States and other powers. .

Confirmation of Xi’s appointment by the ceremonial National People’s Congress comes as no surprise to a leader who has shunned potential rivals and filled the ruling Communist Party’s ranks with his supporters since taking power in 2012. 

The vote for Xi was 2,952 to 0 for him in the National People’s Congress, where the ruling party appoints members.

Mr. Xi, 69, was appointed as party general secretary for his third term in October, breaking the tradition of China’s leadership handing over power every ten years. A provision limiting a representative president’s term to his two terms had previously been removed from China’s constitution, suggesting he could remain in power for life.

Former Shanghai party boss and member of the last Politburo Standing Committee Han Zheng was named to the largely ceremonial post of state vice president.

Xi, Zhao and Han then took the oath of office with one hand on a copy of the Chinese Constitution. The session also swore in 14 congress vice chairpersons.

Xi’s new term and the appointment of loyalists to top posts underscores his near-total monopoly on Chinese political power, eliminating any potential opposition to his hyper-nationalistic agenda of building China into the top political, military and economic rival to the U.S. and the chief authoritarian challenge to the Washington-led democratic world order.

That echoed comments at a small group meeting of delegates from Xi on Monday, in which he said that “Western countries led by the United States have implemented all-round containment, encirclement and suppression of China, which has brought unprecedented grave challenges to our nation’s development.”

Xi followed up on Wednesday by calling for “more quickly elevating the armed forces to world-class standards.”

China must maximize its “national strategic capabilities” in a bid to “systematically upgrade the country’s overall strength to cope with strategic risks, safeguard strategic interests and realize strategic objectives,” Xi was quoted as saying to a meeting of delegates by the official Xinhua News Agency. When asked about China’s future diplomatic relations under Xi, Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning was relatively soft-spoken.

Beijing will maintain a “peaceful and independent foreign policy” and become a “Sino-US diplomacy”. The relationship follows the principles of peaceful coexistence, mutual respect and win-win cooperation,” Mao said at his daily briefing.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has enjoyed close ties with Xi, said Xi’s new term was “a recognition of your achievements as head of state and your policy of focusing on China’s socio-economic development.”

Under Xi, China and Russia have announced a “borderless” relationship, with China flatly refusing to criticize Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, while blaming the US and NATO for the Kremlin provocations. Reiterated Moscow’s claims. Beijing has also condemned sanctions imposed after Russia invaded Ukraine, but Russia has staunchly backed China amid tensions with the United States over Taiwan.