Xi Jinping re-elected as Chinese President

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CHINA'S rubber-stamp parliament unanimously re-appointed President Xi Jinping to a second five-year term today and elevated his former anti-corruption chief to the vice-presidency.

Mr Wang Qishan, a trusted ally of Mr Xi, is expected to handle China's foreign policy and in particular its relationship with the United States. The body is packed with party loyalists and there was no chance he would not win the vote.

After being elected, Wang walked up to Xi with a smile and shook hands with him.

While all 2,970 lawmakers voted in favour of Xi, only one voted against Wang's election.

In an unprecedented move, Xi took the oath of allegiance to the Constitution, which has been amended five times since its enactment in 1954.

"Our country needs someone like him who will continue to step out and shoulder responsibilities for the people", he said.

Many media surmised that China would soon return to the era of a Mao Zedong-like dictatorship.

How a more prominent role for Wang as vice president would work is still uncertain.

"On behalf of the Government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I congratulate you most sincerely on your re-election as the President of the Peoples Republic of China".

Washington already has enacted a series of trade penalties targeting China and more are expected in the weeks ahead. Wang also speaks no English.

Then on Tuesday, reports emerged that President Trump's administration was considering imposing tariffs on $60 billion worth of Chinese goods, which would target the tech and telecommunications sectors.

This month, during sessions of the congress, he sat on the Great Hall of the People's stage alongside current party leaders, in a further sign of his insider status. Wang stepped down from his senior position in the Communist Party as head of an anti-corruption watchdog last October after reaching the age of 68, a customary age for high-ranking Chinese officials to go into retirement. If selected, Wang will be the first ordinary party member to serve as vice president since the early 1990s.

Protocol at major political events, including seating arrangements and the order in which leaders are shown in state news bulletins, are tightly choreographed to convey a political message.

Only one delegate voted against Wang, who received 2,969 votes in favour. Wang's presence will invest the role, seen as largely ceremonial in the past, with new power and authority, experts say.

An institutional reform plan, including proposals to establish new ministries aimed at promoting environmental protection, was also approved, as Xi has promised to build a "Beautiful China" with blue skies and clean air.

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