Xi Jinping secured a historic third term as China’s leader on Sunday and promoted some of his closest Communist Party allies, cementing his position as the nation’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, Report informs via France 24.
The Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party elected Xi as its general secretary for another five-year term, Xinhua reported, tilting the country decisively back towards one-man rule after decades of power-sharing among its elite.
“I wish to thank the whole party sincerely for the trust you have placed in us,” Xi told journalists at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People after the closed-door vote was announced.
He promised to “work diligently in the performance of our duties to prove worthy of the great trust of our party and our people.”
Xi was also reappointed head of China’s Central Military Commission.
The 69-year-old is now all but certain to sail through to a third term as China’s president, due to be formally announced during the government’s annual legislative sessions in March.
His anointment came after a week-long Congress of 2,300 hand-picked party delegates during which they endorsed Xi’s “core position” in the leadership and approved a sweeping reshuffle that saw former rivals step down.
The 20th Congress elected the new Central Committee of around 200 senior party officials, who then gathered on Sunday to elect Xi and the other members of Standing Committee — the apex of Chinese political power.
Some of Xi’s closest allies were announced in the seven-man committee.
Former Shanghai party chief Li Qiang, a confidante of Xi’s, was promoted to number two, making him likely to be named premier at the government’s annual legislative sessions next March.
Since becoming the country’s leader a decade ago, Xi has achieved a concentration of power like no modern Chinese ruler other than Mao.
He abolished the presidential two-term limit in 2018, paving the way for him to govern indefinitely.