China’s annual parliament reappoints Xi Jinping

National People's Congress also names head of a new anti-graft agency

China's annual parliament has appointed Xi Jinping to a second term as leader and Li Keqiang as premier, while naming a senior official to head a new anti-corruption agency.

As expected, Mr Xi won unanimous approval at the National People's Congress for his reappointment as China's president, and following changes in the constitution agreed earlier at the parliament, there are no limits on how many terms he can serve.

Mr Xi received all 2,970 votes for the presidency and for his position as head of the Central Military Commission.

His re-election was accompanied by strong praise in the state media.


The Communist Party’s official organ People’s Daily hailed Mr Xi as a “leader loved and respected by the people”.

“The voyage of a great country cannot do without a helmsman,” it said in an editorial.

Mr Li was re-elected premier on Sunday. This position usually has responsibility for the economy but Mr Xi has assumed some of the high-profile roles the job involves.

Anti-corruption campaign

Meanwhile, Wang Qishan, a key ally who ran Mr Xi's anti-corruption campaign has been named as vice president.

For the first time, the president swore an oath of allegiance to the constitution.

"I pledge to be allegiant to the constitution of the People's Republic of China, safeguard the constitution's authority, fulfill my legal obligations, be loyal to the country and the people, be committed and honest in my duty, accept the people's supervision and work for a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful," Mr Xi said after he was elected on Saturday.

The NPC also approved the appointment of Yang Xiaodu, who is also a deputy head of the party's own graft-fighting Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), as director for the new National Supervisory Commission, which was created by the merger of the Communist Party's internal anti-corruption watchdog with one that oversees civil servants. It will have wide-ranging powers, including the power to detain suspects for up to six months without seeking court approval.

On Tuesday, the NPC will formally pass the law giving the new commission its legal framework, after the state constitution was amended last weekend to accommodate the new agency.

Fighting corruption has been a key aspect of Mr Xi's first five years in office, and dozens of senior cadres have been arrested, including the former security chief, Zhou Yongkang.

Mr Yang, 64, previously worked in China’s financial hub Shanghai from 2001-14.

Other votes on Sunday included the reappointment of Zhou Qiang as chief justice, while minister of justice Zhang Jun was elected head of the state prosecutor.

Clifford Coonan

Clifford Coonan

Clifford Coonan, an Irish Times contributor, spent 15 years reporting from Beijing