Chinese president re-elected for a third term in office

Chinese President Xi Jinping has been re-elected for a third term in office, and accordingly has strengthened his control over the world’s second-largest economy, which is currently both recovering from the consequences of the pandemic and struggling with diplomatic problems, writes Reuters.
Nearly 3,000 representatives of China’s National People’s Congress re-elected 69-year-old Xi in an open vote. There were no other candidates. Since coming to power a decade ago,  he has steered China on a path of authoritarian rule. He will continue to lead the country at a time when relations with the US and Taiwan are extremely strained, Beijing is supporting Russia and facing criticism for violating trade rules and human rights. Domestically, China still faces a challenging recovery from the «zero Covid» policy introduced by the Xi government, regaining consumer and business confidence, and coping with low demand for Chinese exports.
China’s economy grew by just 3 percent last year, the worst performance in decades. Parliament has set modest economic growth targets for this year, only around 5 percent.
Willy Lam, Jamestown Foundation senior researcher,  stated:

«In his third term, Xi will need to focus on economic revival. But if he continues with what he has been doing – tighter party and state control over the private sector and confrontation with the West, his prospects for success won’t be encouraging.»

One of the first to congratulate Xi was Russian President Vladimir Putin. Last February, just days before Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, China and Russia signed an unlimited partnership agreement.
The office of the President is ceremonial in nature. How Xi really strengthened his power was his confirmation as General Secretary of the Communist Party Central Committee in October 2022. Xi will be in this position for five years.
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