Xi Jinping Secures Historic Third Term As China’s Leader

Chinese leader Xi Jinping has secured a third term, making history in the country and becoming China’s most influential ruler after Mao Zedong.

On Sunday, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) revealed how its new Politburo Standing Committee would be composed, naming Mr. Xi as its re-elected general secretary.

The announcement came after a week-long congress in the Chinese capital, where more than 2,300 delegates broke a decades-old tradition and gave Mr. Xi a new mandate over the party.

The only other CCP leader to serve a third term in Chinese history has been party founder Mao Zedong.

China’s main allies, Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, were quick to send congratulations.

The Chinese leader took to a stage at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Sunday, just one day after the congress closed. He was joined by six other members of the Politburo Standing Committee, the Chinese equivalent of the presidential cabinet.

Mr. Xi introduced the team with a personally selected line-up that observers have described as proof that he values loyalty over experience.

Later, the re-elected CCP General Secretary gave a speech thanking the party members for their trust and promising that he would succeed in rejuvenating China on all fronts.

The only ones who were already on the team were anti-corruption chief Zhao Leji and political theorist Wang Huning. The rest were new members.

The country’s number two, Premier Li Keqiang, was not in the group, as he is one of four people who have withdrawn from the Politburo Standing Committee.

While new line-ups are common in newly elected terms, observers say Mr. Xi has ensured he is surrounded only by men with like-minded prospects by getting rid of Li Keqiang and other politicians.

Many say that not assigning a place to an alternative faction shows that Mr. Xi’s priority is to project dominance over magnanimity while facing international pushback. Others have pointed out that putting loyalty before experience contradicts the party’s credo that it is a meritocracy.

There have been rumors that Li Qiang, who walked behind the Chinese leader during the ceremony, would become the new prime minister. However, the committee members’ titles will not be confirmed until the National People’s Congrees meeting next year, when Mr. Xi will be officially named president.