Xi Jinping wins a historic third term as China’s president: Xi Jinping has been re-elected as China’s leader, securing a third five-year term in office. The 69-year-old’s victory was widely expected, as he is the only candidate who was nominated by the ruling Communist Party. In his new term, Xi is likely to continue his crackdown on corruption and his efforts to build up China’s military. He is also expected to further tighten controls on the media and the internet.

President Xi was re-elected as the party’s general secretary for another five-year term in a closed-door vote on Sunday, making him almost certain to be elected president at the annual meeting of China’s National People’s Congress in March. This latest development cements him as the most powerful leader since Communist Party founder Mao Zedong. In a wide-ranging acceptance speech on Sunday, Xi made signature remarks celebrating China’s rise as a global power and its success under his rule.

The Chinese political system is structured around Xi Jinping, who heads the state, the military, and the Chinese Communist Party. Xi has been in power since 2012, and during that time, he has tightened the party’s grip on the state and society, sidelined political rivals, and stamped out dissent. Xi has increasingly surrounded himself with people who are unlikely to challenge him or his policies. This has made him a “core” leader in the party, putting him on par with Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping.

As the highly choreographed congress came to a close on Saturday, it was apparent that Xi Jinping has tightened his grip on the Communist Party. The 2,300 delegates unanimously approved work reports as well as amendments to the party charter that could further increase Xi’s authority. They also elected a 205-member Central Committee that is stacked with Xi loyalists and no longer includes more moderate leaders like Li Keqiang, the departing premier, and former Vice Premier Wang Yang.

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