The Chinese parliament unanimously elected the current head of state, Xi Jinping (center), as president for an unprecedented third five-year term. 10 Mar 2023.
Beijing – Today, the Chinese parliament unanimously elected the current head of state, Xi Jinping, as president, for an unprecedented third five-year term. According to the AP agency, it is possible that the sixty-nine-year-old politician will remain in power for life. Reuters calls him the most powerful leader of an Asian power since Communist China's founder Mao Zedong.
Xi Jinping has been the president of the country of 1.4 billion since March 2013 and has been at the head of the Communist Party of China since November 2012. According to the previously valid rules, he would have had to leave the office of the head of state this year, but the parliament deleted it from the constitution in 2018 a clause limiting the performance of the function to two consecutive mandates. So, theoretically, he can rule indefinitely.
Already last October, he secured a third five-year term as general secretary of the Communist Party, and today he again added the presidency when, according to the AP, 2,952 delegates voted for him and none were against. The parliament also elected Xia as commander-in-chief of the Chinese People's Liberation Army.
68-year-old Chan Cheng, who was the mayor of multi-million dollar Shanghai in the past and a member of the Politburo until last year, became the vice president, whose position is rather symbolic. The new prime minister will be announced on Saturday; he is expected to be the 63-year-old former Shanghai party leader Li Qiang.
This year's weekly session of parliament comes at a troubled time for both China and Xia, who abruptly ended three years of strict measures against the spread of the coronavirus after anti-government protests in December , which, according to Western observers, claimed a large number of victims. The zero-tolerance policy, which has kept millions at home, has previously frustrated many residents and held back China's economy, with China's gross domestic product growth slowing to three percent year-on-year in 2022.