Published: Sun, March 18, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Xi Jinping reappointed China's president with no term limits

Xi Jinping reappointed China's president with no term limits

After the announcement of the election result, Xi Jinping, China's newly-elected president, shook hands with Wang and extended his congratulations to him amid warm applause in the Great Hall of the People.

Last Sunday the legislature abolished term limits for the president and vice president, meaning both can continue in office indefinitely.

Xi Jinping won all 2,970 votes, also becoming chairman of the Central Military Commission.

Known as "the firefighter" for his crucial role in tackling issues such as graft and domestic financial scandals, Wang looks certain to be handed the high-profile assignment of averting a trade war with the United States after President Donald Trump rolled out stiff tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

For the first time in history, the president of China took an oath of office.

Wang retired from the Politburo of the Communist Party past year at the party's customary retirement age of 68.

All 2,970 members of the National People's Congress in attendance approved Xi's reappointment, while Wang received just one vote against.

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Wang, 69, who headed Xi's campaign against corrupt officials and rivals over the past few years until he stepped down last October, was expected to receive the mission of handling global relations, including sensitive issues like the threat of a trade war with the United States.

Xi's new power might provide reassurance to investors who believe that bureaucratic resistance has slowed his reform agenda.

Mr. Wang is widely respected-and feared-for directing the most aggressive, sustained anticorruption clampdown the party has seen in three decades. In February, the surplus with the U.S. stood at US$21 billion, official data from China's General Administration of Customs showed, more than double the $10.4 billion recorded during the same period previous year.

His unanimous appointment by China's rubber-stamp parliament, the National People's Congress, has created favorable circumstances for Xi for having a lifelong tenure.

"Our Chairman Xi is too great, truly he is too great", said Du Meishuang, a Chinese opera singer and delegate from Chairman Mao's home province of Hunan.

"All Chinese are looking forward" to Xi continuing on, said Zhang Fanhua, a delegate from Anhui, as he hurried into the falling snow.

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