China's National People's Congress gives President Xi Jinping second five-year term

Get out the popcorn

Xi Jinping was unanimously appointed to a second term as China's president, capping a flurry of votes that confirmed his rise as the country's paramount leader and installed a trusted ally as No. 2.

The vote was witnessed by journalists inside central Beijing's Great Hall of the People.

Xi, who leads the ruling Communist party, was also reappointed as head of the government commission that commands the military.

The Chinese legislature this month eliminated term limits, effectively positioning Xi, 64, to serve as president for life.

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

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Xi takes oath to work for "democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful" country.

"I swear to be loyal to China's constitution and uphold its authority", Xi said, his left hand on the constitution and his right fist held aloft.

On the other hand, the 69-year-old Vice President, who had stepped down from the Communist Party last year had has kept a prominent profile, sharing the table as the seven members of the Politburo Standing Committee during the public sessions of the National People's Congress.

The campaign, which also targeted dissent within the party, sidelined major rivals to Mr. Xi and was thus instrumental to his consolidation of power.

Known internationally in his previous role as China's pointman on trade, Wang could help Xi deal with increasingly tense relations with the United States amid fears of a looming trade war, analysts say.

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Xi is keeping Wang by his side because of his "talent and ability", according to Hua Po, an independent Chinese political commentator. In February, the surplus with the USA 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 a year ago.

"If Xi indeed ignores this, it shows how he is already putting himself in a Leninist strongman mode in how he exercises his leadership from this point onwards, he said".

Along with scrapping presidential term limits, the congress last weekend abolished term limits for the vice president as well. He is expected to exercise a large influence on economic and foreign policies.

"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.

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