China’s Communist Party greenlights Xi for third term as president
On Friday, the People’s Congress in China gave Xi Jinping an unprecedented third term as president.
The congress further gave the green light to his plans for the biggest government reorganisation in years, including a wave of layoffs.
As expected, the 2,952 hand-picked delegates unanimously voted in favour of a further five-year term for Mr Xi at the annual week-long meeting of the People’s Congress in Beijing, a major Communist Party gathering.
State and party leader Xi, 69, had already overturned former age and term limits at a Party Congress in October, cementing his hold on power. He was also confirmed as chairman of the central military commission and will therefore remain commander-in-chief of the People’s Liberation Army.
After the vote, Mr Xi took the oath of office to great applause. Han Zheng was elected Chinese vice president.
The People’s Congress also approved Mr Xi’s plans for the biggest reorganisation of the government in years, which is to focus on “technological leadership.’’
In the face of what the Chinese president says is growing pressure from the U.S., the goal is to help Beijing get a head start in international competition.
Meanwhile, some five per cent of jobs are to be eliminated in government, the largest number since a far-reaching restructuring in 1998.
A new financial supervision commission will be created to take over the previous functions of the central bank to coordinate better control over banks, insurance, innovative finance platforms, and consumer protection.
The Ministry of Science and Technology is also reorganised, and a separate national authority is to be created to manage the increasing amounts of data available to the government.
From China’s perspective, the U.S. and the West are seeking to impede the rise of the world’s second-largest economic power with a “containment policy,” Mr Xi said on the sidelines of the People’s Congress at the beginning of this week.
“In the face of international tech competition and a severe situation of external containment pressures, we must further organise our technological leadership and management system to better coordinate our strength to overcome challenges on strategic core technologies,” China’s State Council said in a statement on the restructuring.
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