Wang Qishan elected Chinese vice president

Aaron Brown
March 18, 2018

Wang, who retired as the member of the ruling Communist Party of China's (CPC) powerful seven-member Standing Committee in October, is the first official to continue in power despite crossing the retirement age.

Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping (習近平) was re-elected as president of China with a unanimous vote, while his former anti-corruption tsar Wang Qishan (王岐山) is the new vice president.

"Wang is a very capable politician, so it makes sense he would still be around, [but then] it also shows we're in an unconventional time in Chinese politics".

Last Sunday, Parliament voted to amend the Constitution to remove presidential term limits, meaning Xi can stay indefinitely.

"Xi will be chairman of everything", Ether Yin, a partner at advisory firm Trivium China in Beijing, told Bloomberg.

While most of Xi's power flows from his roles as party chief and supreme military commander, being president - or "chairman" in Chinese - gives him legal standing as head of state.

Xi, 64, is considered the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong.

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Chung said, according to the (Palm Springs, Calif.) Desert Sun, "He played just really good serve, good volley, good baseline". Simona Halep also fought the wind and a pesky opponent to reach the semifinals, where she will play Naomi Osaka of Japan.

Wang's appointment to the vice-presidency allows Xi to retain a trusted surrogate with connections to the USA diplomatic and financial communities.

The vote was witnessed by journalists inside central Beijing's Great Hall of the People. In 2013, Xi had received 2,952 votes, with one against and three abstentions, a 99.86 percent share. He also has an extensive network of influential global contacts and forged enduring ties with major Wall Street figures such as Hank Paulson.

As China's vice-president, Wang, 69, is expected to be a key element in furthering Xi's agenda of shoring up Communist party rule while ending corruption and poverty.

Over the next two days, the congress is due to approve the head of that new anticorruption commission as well as other senior government appointments, including the posts of premier and central-bank governor.

The changes leave Xi with sole responsibility for China's $12-trillion economy, mounting debt pile, more aspirational middle class and growing overseas interests.

An "amazing" economist, he could now form a "dream team" with another member of the party leadership, Wang Yang, to deal with concerns that US President Donald Trump policies will trigger a trade war, Brown said.

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