China's parliament unanimously appoints President Xi Jinping for 2nd term

Marsha Scott
March 18, 2018

China's largely rubber-stamp Parliament on Saturday unanimously re-elected Xi Jinping as the country's president.

Wang's appointment to the vice-presidency allows Xi to retain a trusted surrogate with connections to the USA diplomatic and financial communities.

Last Sunday, the Congress adopted a constitutional amendment to scrap the limit of 2 five-year terms for president and vice president. Mr Xi was also voted chairman of the Central Military Commission, receiving the full measure of 2,970 votes.

But any effort by China to elevate formal exchanges with the United States on tricky trade issues, for example from a cabinet to vice presidential level, would require the White House's consent too.

Wang, who retired as the member of the ruling Communist Party of China's (CPC) powerful seven-member Standing Committee in October, is the first official to continue in power despite crossing the retirement age.

The NPC also elected Wang Qishan as the vice-president with only one vote against him.

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 worldwide relations, including sensitive issues like the threat of a trade war with the United States.

"Choosing Wang as vice-president will consolidate [Xi's] power", said Hua Po, an independent Chinese political commentator.

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

Observer said that Wang would be among a new, stronger foreign policy team to be fully unveiled on Monday with the election of the cabinet.

Wang, once the party's formidable anti-graft chief who has mostly worked behind the scenes, read out his oath in a gravelly voice, slowly but confidently.

"Maybe they'll be able to come up with a solution for this massive brewing storm with America about imbalances and tariffs".

Mr. Wang, the only candidate on the ballot for vice president, received all but one of the votes from the 2,970 delegates to the National People's Congress inside Beijing's Great Hall of the People.

"I hope he will rule for life, truly, this is the common people's heartfelt wish".

"This is a great happiness for the country and the nation".

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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