BEIJING — Chinese leader Xi Jinping was awarded a third five-year term as president Friday, putting him on track to stay in power for life.
The endorsement of Xi’s appointment by the ceremonial National People’s Congress was a foregone conclusion for a leader who has sidelined potential rivals and filled the top ranks of the ruling Communist Party with his supporters since taking power in 2012.
The vote for Xi was 2,952 to 0 by the NPC, members of which are appointed by the ruling party.
Xi, 69, had himself named to a third five-year term as party general secretary in October, breaking with a tradition under which Chinese leaders handed over power once a decade. A two-term limit on the figurehead presidency was deleted from the Chinese constitution earlier, prompting suggestions he might stay in power for life.
No candidate lists were distributed and Xi and others were believed to have run unopposed. For the most part, the election process remains shrouded in secrecy.
Xi was also unanimously named commander of the 2 million-member People’s Liberation Army, a force that explicitly that takes its orders from the party rather than the country.
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