The Chinese Way VI - Xi Jinping, President of the People's Republic of China

BBC News
Xi Jinping named president of China
Published: March 14, 2013

Leaders in Beijing have confirmed Xi Jinping as president, completing China's 10-yearly transition of power. Mr Xi, appointed to the Communist Party's top post in November, replaces Hu Jintao, who is stepping down. Some 3,000 deputies to the National People's Congress, the annual parliament session, took part in the vote at the Great Hall of the People.

The new premier - widely expected to be Li Keqiang - is scheduled to be named on Friday, replacing Wen Jiabao. While votes are held for the posts, they are largely ceremonial and the results very rarely a surprise. Mr Xi, who bowed to the delegates after his name was announced but made no formal remarks, was elected by 2,952 votes to one, with three abstentions. He was named general secretary of the Communist Party on 8 November and also given the leadership of the top military body, the Central Military Commission.

This vote, handing him the role of head of state, was the final stage in the transition of power to him and his team, the slimmed-down, seven-member Standing Committee. The largely symbolic role of vice-president went to Li Yuanchao, seen as a close ally of Mr Hu and a possible reformist. The 61-year-old, who is not a member of the Standing Committee, has in the past called for reforms to the way the Communist Party promotes officials and consults the public on policies.

The Foreign Report
China: Xi pursues a unified communist ‘dream’
By Winnie Yeung
Published: March 22, 2013

Last week, Xi Jinping took office as the President of the People’s Republic of China, officially assuming full power of his position during National People’s Congress. During his closing speech, Xi called upon the nation to unite in the pursuit of one Chinese dream.

Xi Jinping was appointed as the general secretary of the Chinese Community Party (CCP) on the 15th November 2012, nearly 130 days ago. The whole world has expectations on them: maintaining China’s extra-ordinary economic growth, harmonizing internal conflicts, and managing foreign relations, particularly with the US.

But Xi’s desire for one unified dream lacks any real indicator of reforms but simply an intention to continue on the existing paths. “The China’s dream is shared by every Chinese; to realize the dream, we must all walk the Chinese path, divulge the Chinese ethos, and gather a cohesive Chinese force,” said Xi.

This outlook is a continuation of his speech as general secretary during the CCP national meeting in November. He calls for the cooperation of all Chinese citizens as they move to realise the country’s so-called “dream”, and to continue to bring prosperity.

Xi’s ambition for unity under one glorious vision is nothing new in the history of the Chinese Communists Party. In the past, both Mao and Deng promised a great future to ensure Chinese citizens. So is Xi’s speech. But what he doesn’t realize is the weight of expectation from inside the country for his government to follow a different direction. A calling for unity is not sufficient for people who have very specific demands.