BEIJING - Xi Jinping re-elected as China's president for the second time, Saturday (17/3/2018). The difference is, for this second term of office, the period of his reign is infinite.
The reinstatement of Xi by the parliament controlled by the Communist Party has actually been predictable for a long time. The National People's Congress widened Xi's authority and revoked the rules on the five-year term limit for the president and vice president.
Xi received a standing ovation after receiving a unanimous vote of 2,970 to become president and chairman of the Central Military Commission. Meanwhile his deputy, Wang Qishang got 2,969 votes or there was one who refused.
This is definitely an absolute victory, although in 2013 Xi also gets a majority of 2,952 votes, with one member refusing and three abstentions. The vote is 99.86 percent.
Xi and Wang for the first time deliver an oath of office by pledging loyalty to the constitution. Xi put his left hand on a red book and raised his right hand.
"I promise to be faithful to the constitution of the People's Republic of China," said Xi, quoted by AFP.
Xi chose Wang as his deputy to strengthen his position as China's most powerful leader since Mao Zedong's leadership.
Wang resigned as a Communist Party council in October over pension rules. But he still has a prominent role in the Chinese political scene.
Chinese political observer Kerry Brown said Wang's appointment meant that he was a very important political advisor.
"He is a very capable politician, so it makes sense if he is still elected," Brown said.
Wang was at the forefront of the war against Xi's promoted corruption. In this anti-corruption campaign, 1.5 million officials have been arrested in the last 5 years, ranging from low-level cadres to regional leaders, and generals.