Xi Takes a Highly Choreographed Curtain Call

Xi Takes a Highly Choreographed Curtain Call
Chinese President Xi Jinping walks to the podium to deliver a speech at the closing ceremony for China’s National People’s Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, March 13, 2023 (AP photo by Andy Wong).

BEIJING—As was widely expected, China’s rubber-stamp parliament reappointed Xi Jinping for an unprecedented third term as president of the People’s Republic of China on Friday. Xi also retained his position as the Chairman of the Central Military Commission, meaning he also still commands the armed forces.

Neither of these developments were a surprise. After all, there were no other candidates in the running. Xi’s real achievement came last October: retaining the all-important position of general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, or CCP. He first obtained that title in 2012. Since then, he has consolidated power by eliminating rivals, promoting allies and encouraging a cult of personality of a kind that China hasn’t seen in generations.

This year’s Lianghui—or Two Sessions, referring to the gatherings of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, or CPPCC, and the National People’s Congress, or NPC—was another glimpse into just how successfully he has managed to tighten his grip on power.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.