Classifieds | Archives | Jobs | About TGT | Contact | Subscribe
 | 
Last updated 0 minute ago
Printer Friendly Version | TGT@Twitter | RSS Feed |
HOME LOCAL MIDEAST ASIA WORLD BUSINESS SPORT OPINION WRITERS
China elects Xi as president
March 15, 2013
 Print    Send to Friend

BEIJING: China’s parliament named Xi Jinping as president on Thursday, four months after he took charge of the Communist Party with pledges of reform that have raised hopes but so far yielded little change.

About 3,000 delegates lined up to cast their votes in Beijing’s cavernous Great Hall of the People, dropping red papers into red ballot boxes in front of giant red flags, but the outcome was never in doubt.

Xi received 2,952 votes at the tightly choreographed ceremony, with one against and three abstentions, a 99.86 per cent share.

“Now I announce comrade Xi Jinping is selected as president of the People’s Republic of China,” said Liu Yunshan, who chaired the session at the National People’s Congress (NPC), a rubber-stamp parliament.

To loud applause, Xi, 59, stood up and bowed to the delegates, before shaking hands with other officials and walking off the stage.

Xi’s formal appointment as head of the world’s most populous nation is due to be followed by the naming of Li Keqiang as premier on Friday, marking the final step in the nation’s once-in-a-decade power handover.

Xi’s new role was effectively guaranteed by his position as Communist party leader, the real source of his authority in China, but the title will increase his public and international standing.

He takes office at a time when China is becoming more assertive on the global stage and is taking a harder line on territorial rows with its neighbours, and Xi has vowed to increase its military strength.

Domestically, since taking the top party post in November Xi has pledged to preserve the ruling party’s grip on power by cracking down on corruption, improving people’s livelihoods and pushing forward economic reforms.

But despite the promises of action on multiple fronts, including pollution, observers say concrete reforms would be complex and will not be swiftly introduced.

Xi last year became head of China’s top military body, the Central Military Commission, unlike his predecessor Hu Jintao, who worked as president for two years before his predecessor Jiang Zemin passed on the Commission chairmanship.

“In recent memory there is no comparable figure who has such power in his hand (so quickly),” said Willy Lam, a politics expert at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

As the son of one of China’s most famous generals, Xi has closer ties to the People’s Liberation Army than Hu did and has strengthened the relationship in recent months with an unusually high number of visits to military bases.

He is seen as one of the architects of China’s recent more assertive stance on territorial disputes with neighbouring countries and a supporter of Beijing’s military expansion, telling troops recently that they should be “combat ready.”

“Comrade Xi Jinping pays a great deal of attention to military development, especially in raising the military’s level of battle preparedness,” said Yang Jianhua, a green-uniformed military delegate to the NPC.

Tokyo sent congratulations, and its chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga said it had “always kept our door open for dialogue with China”, adding the relationship was “one of the most important international relationships for Japan.”

Officially Xi was elected for a five-year term, but tradition dictates that barring extraordinary events he will hold the position for a decade.

Agence France-Presse
 

Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Comments
 
Post a comment
 
Name:
Country:
City:
Email:
Comment:
 
    
    
Related Stories
Super typhoon whips Taiwan, Philippines, 45,000 in dark
TAIPEI: Super Typhoon Usagi, the most powerful storm of the year, brought torrential rain and ferocious winds to Taiwan on Saturday, leaving tens of thousands without pow..
China seizes 10,000 illegal guns in crackdown
SHANGHAI: China has seized more than10,000 illegal guns in the southwestern province of Guizhou, state television reported on Sunday, marking its largest haul of illegal ..
Anti-corruption activists go on trial in China
BEIJING: Two Chinese anti-corruption activists went on trial under heavy security on Tuesday, in Beijing’s latest strike against a burgeoning rights movement. Ding Jia..
China races to save 22 trapped coal miners
BEIJING: Rescuers on Monday raced to save 22 miners trapped in a flooded coal mine in southwestern China, state media reported. Flooding struck the mine in Yunnan prov..
China holds 18 over protest against chemical plant
BEIJING: Police in a southern Chinese city detained 18 people after a protest against a planned chemical plant turned violent over the weekend, local authorities said on ..
 
FRONTPAGE
 
GALLERY
 
PANORAMA
 
TIME OUT
 
SPORT
 
 
Advertise | Copyright