Xi Jinping Begins Record Third Term as China’s President

Xi Jinping Begins Record Third Term as China’s President

Chinese leader Xi Jinping has begun his third term as the President of China, after securing a historic win as president in a ceremonial vote in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on March 10. He received a unanimous 2,952 votes followed by a standing ovation.

Xi Jinping’s unprecedented third term as China’s president was officially endorsed by the country’s political elite, strengthening his control and making him the longest-serving head of state of Communist China since its foundation in 1949. His reappointment was largely seen as a formality, after the 69-year-old leader secured a norm-shattering third term as head of the Chinese Communist Party last fall.

In China, the presidency – or “state chairman” in Chinese – is a largely ceremonial title. Real power resides in the positions of head of the party and military, two key roles that Xi also holds and was reappointed to at a key Communist Party congress in October.

Xi has begun his third when the Chinese economy is struggling to recover from three years of harsh zero-COVID-19 restrictions, investor confidence is waning, and a demographic crisis is looming as the country registered its first population decline in six decades.

China is also facing a series of diplomatic headwinds from Washington and other Western capitals, as relations plummeted in recent years over Beijing’s human rights record, military build-up, handling of COVID-19, and growing partnership with Russia.