Xi officially clinches third term as Chinese president

Xi Jinping
In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during a memorial for the late former Chinese President Jiang Zemin, who passed away on Nov. 30 at the age of 96, held in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022. Chinese leader Xi Jinping is attending a pair of regional summits in Saudi Arabia this week amid efforts to kick-start economic growth weighed down by strict anti-COVID-19 measures. (Pang Xinglei/Xinhua via AP)

Xi Jinping officially clinched his third term as Chinese president on Friday, following a largely ceremonial vote by the country’s rubber-stamp legislature.

The nearly 3,000-member National People’s Congress voted unanimously for Xi, the only candidate, to serve another five-year term as president, according to Xinhua, China’s state news agency. Xi’s unprecedented third term comes after the Chinese legislature voted to abolish a two-term limit on the presidency in 2018.

In October, Xi secured another term as general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party. The general secretary holds the most power in Chinese politics, with the presidency tacked on as a primarily ceremonial post.

Xi’s reelection comes amid increasingly tense relations with the United States.

A suspected Chinese spy balloon was shot down off the coast of South Carolina last month, after it spent a week traversing the U.S. and surveying strategic sites. Beijing has maintained that the high-flying object was simply a weather balloon blown off course and accused American lawmakers of overreacting.

Tensions were further inflamed when the U.S. accused the Chinese of “strongly considering” providing Russia with lethal aid in its war against Ukraine. China, which has sought to paint itself as a neutral arbiter in the conflict, put out a 12-point peace plan in late February, and alongside Belarus, called for a cease-fire and negotiations.

Tags CCP China China National People's Congress US-China relations Xi Jinping Xi Jinping

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