Xi Jinping has been appointed for a third term as the President of China, consolidating his position as the country’s most powerful leader in generations.
He previously secured another five years as head of the Communist Party and the military in October 2022. Despite facing protests over his zero-Covid policy and its abandonment, Xi’s appointment was a carefully orchestrated event at the National People’s Congress.
Xi’s rise to power has been remarkable, starting from being a little-known party member to leading a global superpower. With his appointment, Xi is set to become modern China’s longest-serving president.
Xi’s vision for China is to become the most powerful country in the world, according to Adrian Geiges, co-author of ‘Xi Jinping: The Most Powerful Man in the World’.
He is not motivated by personal enrichment, despite revelations of his family’s wealth. Historically, China has avoided one-man rule, instead opting for a consensus-based, autocratic leadership model. However, Xi has torn up that rulebook and allowed a cult of personality to develop around his all-powerful leadership.
The beginning of Xi’s third term comes as China faces significant headwinds, including a slowing economy, a troubled real estate sector, and a declining birth rate.
Additionally, relations with the United States are at a low point, with the two countries sparring over a range of issues. Steve Tsang, Director of the SOAS China Institute, believes that Xi’s leadership will result in a more assertive China on the global stage, focused on making the Communist Party the centrepiece of governance.
While it is not a return to the Maoist era, it is a direction that Maoist supporters would feel comfortable with, Tsang added.