Xi Jinping Secures His Third Term as China’s President

On March 10, 2023, the Chinese National People’s Congress endorsed that the state’s leader Xi Jinping has successfully secured his third five-year term as president after receiving a unanimous vote of 2,952.

Xi Jinping applauds during China’s National People’s Congress on March 10, 2023. (Photo credit: Associated Press)

The election was held during the “Two Sessions” – the annual parliamentary meetings of China – which compose of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). 2,952 out of 2,977 members attended the meeting and all voted in favour of Xi. That marked the beginning of Xi’s third tenure as the president.

The 69-year-old started his first term in 2013 and has been on the throne for 10 years. The Chinese constitution stated that China’s presidency can only be limited to two terms, and previous leaders, even including Mao Zedong, could only at most succeed to their second term. During his second tenure, Xi pushed for the abolishment of the two-term limit on government officials, making his third tenure possible.

Xi Jinping become the leader of the Communist Party in 2012. (Photo credit: AFP)

The politician is the one who served the longest as president since the establishment of the People’s Republic of China. The country has undergone unprecedented changes and challenges under his governance, ranging from the anti-corruption policy within the government, revisions of military and education systems and the controversial “One Belt One Road initiative”,  to the ongoing US-Sino trade war, stringent zero-Covid strategies and the introduction of the National Security Law in HKSAR and Macau. Xi faced challenges during his tenure, including Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests, Taiwan independence, the outbreak of the pandemic, as well as China’s relationship with Russia during the Russian-Ukraine War. Tensions between China and Western countries escalated, and China saw internal political and social instability during the period.

As he began his new term, Xi revealed his intention to resolve those challenges. During the end of the National People’s Congress, he stressed his determination to achieve the unification of China and vowed to oppose the pro-independence forces in Taiwan.

We should actively oppose the external forces and secessionist activities of Taiwan independence. We should unswervingly advance the cause of national rejuvenation and reunification.

–  Xi, during the National People’s Congress

Xi also emphasised China’s economic growth and national security in the closing. As China’s economic growth slowed down to three per cent last year, Xi called for economic reforms, including the restructuring of the Ministry of Science and Technology, and the relaxation of regulations for private enterprises. Following Xi’s criticism towards the United States as an “all-around containment encirclement and suppression” in a meeting with business leaders in Beijing during the first week of his new term, the National People’s Congress has approved a 7.2 per cent increase in China’s military spending this year.

The leader is currently in Russia, paying a visit to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin for the first time after the outbreak of the Ukraine War, as well as his new term. The move came after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant against Putin for his deportation of Ukrainian children recently. As revealed its intention for peace earlier this year, China regarded the trip as a “journey of peace” and Xi is visiting to promote peace talks. 

Featured image credit: Reuters

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