Beijing : The National People’s Congress wept with joy and social media users competed with one another to express their delight as Xi Jinping, who is being referred as the nation’s “helmsman” – the expression used only for party’s later chairman Mao Zedong — was on Saturday unanimously chosen China’s President without a limit on his term.
Xi’s elevation suggested that Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang’s influence was declining and that the new government would be dominated by the president’s supporters. Li was also re-elected by the National People’s Congress for a second five-year term.
Television footage from the Great Hall of the People in Beijing showed people weeping with delight as Xi swore an oath of loyalty to China’s constitution soon after all 2,970 of the carefully selected delegates voted in favour of Xi.
According to The Times, The People’s Daily had also used the social media app WeChat to run a game in which users were challenged to press a button indicating a “like” for Xi’s government as many times as they could within 20 seconds.
A user claimed to have “liked” the government 181 times, or nine times a second. “Press like for Uncle Xi!” wrote another user.
The results of the meticulously orchestrated voting revealed the pecking order among the secondary leaders who will have the most influence in Xi’s invigorated government.
The election of Wang Qishan as the republic’s Vice President suggested the power of Li, who in the past was in charge of steering the Chinese economy, was diminishing.
Wang worked closely with Xi when both had party posts in Shanghai more than a decade ago.
He has since then established a reputation as an expert on the US and its economy. Wang has been praised for his astuteness by influential Americans such as Former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Steve Bannon, US President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist.
He will now deal with the inevitable trade friction resulting from the protectionist policies being adopted by Trump’s administration, which earlier this month announced tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.
The 69-year-old Vice President has a record of solving crises. In 2003, Wang as Beijing Mayor successfully handled the outbreak of the Sars virus and worked closely with the US during the global financial crisis.(ANI)