March 10, 2023

China’s president Jinping secures third term in ceremonial vote

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives in US

Chinese President, Xi Jinping

By Biodun Busari

Chinese President Xi Jinping secured an unprecedented third term as president of China on Friday during a parliamentary session.

Nearly 3,000 members of China’s rubber-stamp parliament, the National People’s Congress (NPC), voted unanimously in the Great Hall of the People.

According to Reuters, the 69-year-old leader of the most populated country emerged in a ceremonial vote without any other candidate challenging him.

Xi has taken China on a more dictatorial path since assuming control a decade ago, and he extends his tenure for another five-year term amid increasingly adversarial relations with the U.S. and its allies over Taiwan, Beijing’s backing of Russia, trade and human rights.

Locally, China faces a challenging recovery from three years of Xi’s zero-COVID policy, fragile confidence among consumers and businesses and weak demand for China’s exports.

Reuters reported that China’s economy developed just 3% last year, among its worst performances in decades. During the parliament session, the government set a modest growth target for this year of just around 5%.

“In his third term, Xi will need to focus on economic revival,” said Willy Lam, a senior fellow at the Jamestown Foundation, a US think tank.

“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.”