China’s parliament has appointed Communist Party leader Xi Jinping the nation’s president. Under rules on age and tenure, Hu Jintao, 70, stepped down in November from party leadership after a decade.
Xi, 59, who succeeded Hu as leader of the ruling Communist Party in November, was handed the largely ceremonial additional title of president with a vote of 99.7 percent by the 2,961 delegates to the National People’s Congress,Bankok Post reports
The elevation of Xi to the presidency by the rubberstamp national legislature gave him the last of the three titles held by his predecessor, Hu Jintao. The move was expected after Xi was named head of the Communist Party and chairman of its military, positions of true power, last November in a once-a-decade handover to a new group of leaders that has been years in the making.
Despite being formally in charge, it will be within the party’s top ranks – in which powerful people are often divided by patronage, ideology or financial interests – that Xi will find the biggest challenges.
The new premier – widely expected to be Li Keqiang – is scheduled to be named on Friday, replacing Wen Jiabao.