Published: Sun, March 18, 2018

China's Xi Jinping re-elected with VP ally, no term limits

China's Xi Jinping re-elected with VP ally, no term limits

Along with the re-appointment of Xi, his closest ally Wang Qishan handed over the vice-presidency.

While all 2,970 lawmakers voted in favour of Xi, only one voted against Wang's election.

Xi received a standing ovation after winning all 2,970 votes at the annual session of the National People's Congress.

"On behalf of the Government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I congratulate you most sincerely on your re-election as the President of the Peoples Republic of China". On March 11, over 2900 deputies of the NPC have voted for the constitutional amendment for removing the two-term limit for President and Vice President proposed by the ruling Communist Party of China, (CPC).

Wang Qishan, former secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, walks with his ballot before a vote at the fifth plenary session of the National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China March 17, 2018. Wang stepped down from his senior position in the Communist Party as head of an anti-corruption watchdog last October after reaching the age of 68, a customary age for high-ranking Chinese officials to go into retirement.

Many were opponents of his "boss", President Xi.

"The overall leadership of the Party is the fundamental guarantee for deepening the reform", wrote Yang Xiaodu, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee. Through a career spanning almost half a century, Wang's problem-solving skills have earned him the "troubleshooter" moniker.

The 69-year-old troubleshooter has been a confidante of President Xi since "they were young" and helped set up China's first investment bank with Morgan Stanley in the 1990s. Wang's role is to protect the president from potential backlash within the party, observers say.

Beijing-based political commentator Zhang Lifan expects Wang to focus on thorny U.S.

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.

But Zhang doubted Wang could borrow much his experience as vice-premier between 2008 and 2013.

"He has shown himself to be a very capable politician, and he is still relatively young, so it makes sense for him to stick around", Brown said. "Because in the past, the Party leader skips a generation to appoint the following leader", Yen said, referring to the practice since Deng of the incumbent being able to appoint the leader who follows his immediate successor. The strategy is to promote the transfer of military technology to the private sector in order to develop it into an industry.

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