Xi Jinping won a historic third term as China’s leader on Sunday and promoted some of his closest Communist Party allies, cementing his position as the country’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong.
The Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party elected Xi as general secretary for another five-year term, marking the country’s resolute return to a one-man government after decades of power-sharing among the elite.
Xi Jinping said “the world needs China,” addressing the press.
“China cannot develop without the world, and the world needs China too,” Xi said. “After more than 40 years of unremitting efforts for reform and opening up, we have created two miracles: rapid economic development and long-term social stability.”
He promised “to work diligently in the performance of our duties to prove worthy of the great confidence of our party and our people”.
Xi was also reappointed as head of the Central Military Commission of China.
The 69-year-old will now almost certainly advance to a third term as president of China, which will be formally announced at the government’s annual legislative sessions in March.
His anointing came after a week-long congress of 2,300 hand-picked party delegates in which they endorsed Xi’s “core position” in the leadership and approved a sweeping reshuffle that saw former rivals step down.
The 20th Congress elected the new Central Committee of about 200 senior party officials, who then met on Sunday to elect Xi and the other members of the Standing Committee — the top of China’s political power.
Some of Xi’s closest allies were announced in the seven-member committee.
Former Shanghai party leader Li Qiang, a close confidant of Xi, was promoted to number two, making him likely to become prime minister at the government’s annual legislative sessions in March next year.
Since becoming the country’s leader ten years ago, Xi has achieved a concentration of power unlike any other modern Chinese ruler other than Mao.
He abolished the two-term presidential limit in 2018, paving the way for him to rule indefinitely.
Xi has also overseen China’s rise as the world’s second-largest economy, massive military expansion and a much more aggressive global stance that has prompted strong opposition from the United States.
Despite an almost unchecked power, Xi faces huge challenges over the next five years, including managing the country’s debt-ridden economy and growing US rivalry.
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Sunday’s vote ended a triumphant week in which China’s summits praised their leadership of the country over the past five years.
In his opening address to the 20th Congress on Sunday, Xi praised the party’s achievements while covering up domestic problems such as the stagnant economy and the damage inflicted by his tough zero-covid policy.
Heavy on ideological rhetoric and light on policy, a defiant Xi also urged party members to arm themselves against a host of challenges, including a hardening geopolitical climate.
Analysts had been looking closely at whether the party charter would be changed to enshrine “Xi Jinping thought” as its guiding philosophy, a move that would align Xi with Mao.
It didn’t, though a resolution called the creed “the Marxism of contemporary China and of the 21st century,” adding that it “embodies the best Chinese culture and ethos of this era.”
(This story was not edited by NewsMadura staff and was generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)