OAN Roy Francis
UPDATED 8:57 AM – Friday, March 10, 2023
Chinese leader Xi Jinping was confirmed for a third term as the nation’s president on Friday, placing him on track to remain in power for life.
The vote for Xi to remain as leader was 2,952 to 0 by the National People’s Congress. Member of the NPC are appointed by the ruling party, in this case by Xi himself.
The result was expected as Xi had sidelined rivals and filled the top ranks of the ruling Communist Party with his supporters since he had taken power in 2012. The Chinese leader had also named himself to a third five-year term as party general secretary in October.
Xi had broken the tradition of Chinese leaders turning over power once every decade, which limited leaders to two, five-year terms. However, the two-term limit on the presidency was deleted from the Chinese Constitution, pointing to Xi’s intentions on staying in office for life.
In 2013, when Xi was named president, NPC members had received a ballot with only one option on it. The only option was his name. The ballots of the elections that granted Xi his third term were not revealed to the public or reporters.
Xi had also been named head of the Central Military Commission which controls the party’s People’s Liberation Army which consists of two million members.
The NPC had also appointed other key leaders, which included Zhao Leji as the body’s head, and Han Zheng as vice-president.
Li Qiang, a protegee of the Chinese leader, is also expected to be chosen as China’s premier this coming Saturday. The traditional role of the premier is to take charge of the economy, however Xi has taken most decision-making into his own hands.
The newly appointed Chinese officials, along with Xi, swore a public oath of allegiance to the Chinese Constitution inside the Great Hall of the People.
After the ceremony, Xi delivered his remarks in which he blamed the United States of containing and suppressing them, which caused the domestic problems they are facing.
“Western countries led by the United States have contained and suppressed us in an all-round way, which has brought unprecedented severe challenges to our development,” Xi said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated Xi on his continuously extended term.
“I am confident that working together, we will ensure the further growth of fruitful Russian-Chinese cooperation in various fields,” Putin said.
He also went on to thank Xi’s personal contribution “to strengthening relations of comprehensive cooperation and strategic interaction” between the two nations.
No one person had held the position as the head of state in China for more than 10 years. This includes Mao Zedong, Communist China’s founding father.