Buhari congratulates China's President XI Jinping on re-election

Frederick Owens
March 18, 2018

Xi Jinping was unanimously reelected president of China, and chairman of the Central Military Committee, on Saturday morning, according to Chinese government-controlled media.

The oaths were also a rare chance for the public to hear Wang and Li speak, even though they have both been key enforcers of Xi's signature policies over the past five years.

All 2,970 votes were cast in favor of the 64-year-old Xi who, after a vote by the legislature last Sunday, gained the right to continue in office indefinitely after term limits for the president and vice president were abolished.

Xi Jinping won all 2,970 votes, also becoming chairman of the Central Military Commission.

In his former position as vice premier, Wang periodically travelled to the United States, where then-president Barack Obama once gave the Chinese delegation a signed basketball.

He took office as president in 2013 and has not said how many additional five-year terms he intends to serve. Only one person voted against Wang out of the 2,970 votes cast.

Wang's appointment shows that "he's a really important political advisor", said Kerry Brown, director of the Lau China Institute at King's College London.

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Wang, 69, who headed Xi's campaign against corrupt officials and rivals over the past few years until he stepped down last October, was expected to receive the mission of handling worldwide relations, including sensitive issues like the threat of a trade war with the United States.

"Choosing Wang as vice-president will consolidate [Xi's] power", said Hua Po, an independent Chinese political commentator. He stepped down past year.

"Xi is already a very powerful man". Among Mr. Wang's priorities will be helping Mr. Xi manage the critical but increasingly fraught relationship with the US, people familiar with the matter have said.

Mr. Wang is widely respected-and feared-for directing the most aggressive, sustained anticorruption clampdown the party has seen in three decades.

Delegates attend a plenary session of China's National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, March 11, 2018.

Legislators beamed when talking about Xi - a stark contrast from the criticism that Chinese people expressed online when term limits were lifted last week, prompting censors into action.

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