Xi Jinping secures 3rd term as China’s Communist Party leader, further concentrating power

Chinese President Xi Jinping secured an unusual third term as leader of the Chinese Communist Party, the country’s most powerful position, after a weeklong Party congress session that ended on Sunday, according to Chinese state media Xinhua News Agency.

With Xi as China’s unchallenged leader for another five-year term, Beijing is likely to continue its current trajectory of confrontation with the West.

Xi, 69, has surpassed the informal retirement age of 68 and could be in a position for life-long rule. His selection paves the way for him to again be named the country’s president at the annual legislative session in March.

During the meeting, some key Communist party leaders retired from the powerful seven-member Politburo standing committee — and several of Xi’s closest allies and proteges were instated.

Premier Li Keqiang — China’s second-highest ranking leader — and Wang Yang both retired, even though they were eligible for another five-year term. Li and Wang were not viewed as being close Xi allies.

Shanghai party secretary Li Qiang was appointed to the standing committee and is considered a frontrunner to be named premier, the country’s second-highest position, at a meeting next March.

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