Xi’s epoch-making re-election


IN a landmark development, Xi Jinping secured a precedent-breaking third term as President of China on Friday during a parliamentary session, capping a rise that has seen him become the country’s most powerful leader in generations. All 2,952 delegates of the National People’s Congress (NPC) voted in his favour at an epoch-making session held at Beijing’s famous Great Hall of the People. He was also re-elected as the head of the country’s Central Military Commission, the highest national defence organization in China.

The wholehearted confidence that the parliamentary leaders reposed in the leadership of Mr. Xi was not unexpected given his overall popularity among people because of his visionary policies and programmes that have put China on an accelerated path of progress and development. The oath he took after his historic re-election symbolized his vision as he vowed to “build a prosperous, strong, democratic, civilized, harmonious and great modern socialist country”. Adrian Geiges, co-author of “Xi Jinping: The Most Powerful Man in the World” aptly remarked that Xi has no desire for personal enrichment and ‘really has a vision about China, he wants to see China as the most powerful country in the world.’ No doubt, China is facing enormous challenges in the post-Covid era when economic growth has slowed down and escalating tensions with the United States and its allies but Xi has demonstrated his capability and vision to tackle most difficult situations with care. Analysts point out Xi used the past week at the Congress to project determination to reinvigorate China’s economy. That message has been coupled with a rallying cry for the nation to unite behind him in confronting challenges posed by Western powers that he says are seeking to contain China’s rise. Xi also declared that China faced “all-around containment, encirclement and suppression” by the United States and its allies. The President also has a definite plan to give a boost to his country’s economic and military strength as he wants China to wean itself from its reliance on Western-held technologies and expertise, and to fortify itself against risks to food and energy security. Xi’s No. 2, the incoming Chinese premier, Li Qiang, is expected to focus on growth and there are reports about an increased role of the private sector in this regard. All this is in line with the overall approach of Xi Jinping, who launched the historic One Belt, One Road (OBOR), a global infrastructure development strategy adopted in 2013, to invest in more than 150 countries and international organizations. This is the clearest example of China’s policy of peaceful co-existence based on mutually beneficial development cooperation. Pakistan is proud to be the first partner of its great neighbour under the framework of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), an initiative considered to be the role model practical implementation of the OBOR. It is because of China’s commitment to the progress and development of Pakistan under the leadership of President Xi Jinping that his re-election for the third term is a reassuring development for the people of Pakistan. In his message of felicitations, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif aptly represented feelings of people of Pakistan when he expressed the hope that the tried and tested evergreen strategic cooperation between the two countries would be further strengthened during the next five-year term of President Xi Jinping.