[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific

Xi Jinping named as China's president

National People's Congress confirms Xi Jinping as president, completing communist nation's once-a-decade power handover.
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2013 10:38

China's parliament formally elected Xi Jinping as the country's new president, completing the country's second orderly political succession since the Communist Party took power in 1949.

The largely rubber-stamp National People's Congress chose Xi on Thursday in a tightly scripted ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in central Beijing, putting the final seal of approval on a generational transition of power.

Xi was appointed party and military chief - where real power lies - in November.

The 59-year-old was also elected head of the Central Military Commission, the parallel government post to the party's top military position which he already holds, ensuring that he has full power over the party, state and armed forces. 

There was virtually no opposition among the carefully selected legislators to Xi becoming president. Xi drew just one no vote and three abstentions from the almost 3,000 delegates.

Xi bowed deeply and shook hands with his predecessor Hu Jintao upon the announcement of the result, carried live on state television. Xi and Hu exchanged a few inaudible words.

Li Yuanchao was also elected vice president.

There were five other candidates put forth for the vice-presidential position including Wang Yang, the reformist
former party chief of southern Guangdong province, and propaganda tsar Liu Yunshan. Xi had fended off a bid by
influential former president Jiang Zemin to install Liu, a source with ties to the leadership said.

Vice Premier Li Keqiang is set to succeed Premier Wen Jiabao in a similarly scripted vote on Friday.

Hu, 70, relinquished the presidency after serving the maximum two five-year terms.

Hu's accession to president a decade ago marked Communist China's first peaceful transition of power. Violent events such as the Cultural Revolution and the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators had overshadowed previous hand-overs.

Joseph Cheng, an analyst from the Univeristy of Hong Kong, told Al Jazeera that if the new leadership truly wants to make substantial changes within the government, it will take time to do so.

"They need time to consoldate power. They need time to establish popular appeal," he said.

345

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Mother of jailed Al Jazeera journalist Abdullah Elshamy says her son's ordeal highlights the value of press freedom.
French Jews and Muslims say recent National Front victories in mayoral races reflect rising xenophobia.
Western fighters have streamed into the Middle East to help 'liberate' Arab countries such as Syria and Libya.
The Pakistani government is proposing reform of the nation's madrassas, which are accused of fostering terrorism.
Featured
Survivors of Bangladesh garment factory collapse say they received little compensation and face economic hardship.
As Iraq prepares to vote, deadly violence is surging. But at the site of one bomb attack, people insist life must go on.
French Jews and Muslims say recent National Front victories in mayoral races reflect rising xenophobia.
Up to 23,000 federal prisoners could qualify for clemency under new Justice Department initiative.
After years of rapid growth, Argentina is bracing for another economic crisis as inflation eats up purchasing power.
join our mailing list