China’s largely rubber-stamp parliament on Saturday (March 17) unanimously re-elected Xi Jinping as the country’s president, with no votes cast against him.
The legislature is packed with delegates loyal to the ruling Communist Party meaning Xi’s re-election was never in doubt. On Sunday (March 11) parliament voted to amend the constitution to remove presidential term limits, meaning Xi can stay indefinitely.
The parliament also chose former top graft-buster Wang Qishan, a key ally of President Xi Jinping, as vice president, a widely-expected move that nonetheless breaks with convention and underlines Xi’s dominant authority. Only one person voted against Wang out of the 2,970 votes cast.
Known as “the firefighter” for his central role in tackling issues like corruption and domestic financial problems over the years, Wang also has experience dealing with the United States in his former role as a vice premier who led annual economic talks with Washington.