China’s parliament elects new state leadership

Hu Jintao (L) congratulates Xi Jinping at the fourth plenary meeting of the first session of the 12th National People’s Congress (NPC) in Beijing, capital of China, March 14, 2013. Xi was elected president of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and chairman of the Central Military Commission of the PRC at the NPC session in Beijing on March 14. (Pang Xinglei/Xinhua)

By Fu Shuangqi

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, was elected president of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and chairman of the PRC Central Military Commission (CMC) on March 14.

When Liu Yunshan, executive chairman of the presidium for the first session of the 12th National People’s Congress (NPC), announced the election result, Xi stood up and bowed to nearly 3,000 NPC deputies in the Great Hall of the People.

Amid thundering applause, he shook hands with Hu Jintao who had been the head of state since 2003.

Born in 1953 into a revolutionary family from Fuping of northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, Xi joined the Communist Party of China (CPC) in January 1974.

He graduated from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Tsinghua University with a major in Marxist theory and ideological and political education.

From the Loess Plateau to the southeast coast then to Beijing, from county official to the central leadership, Xi has had a well-rounded political career.

On November 15, he was elected general secretary of the CPC Central Committee at the first plenum of the 18th CPC Central Committee and became the first top Party leader born after October 1949, when the People’s Republic of China was founded.

Li Yuanchao, 62-year-old member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, was elected vice-president.

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The plenary meeting also elected leaders and members of the 12th NPC Standing Committee, the permanent organ of the country’s parliament.

Zhang Dejiang, 66-year-old member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, was elected chairman of the NPC Standing Committee.

The 13 elected vice chairpersons of the NPC Standing Committee were Li Jianguo, Wang Shengjun, Chen Changzhi, Yan Junqi, Wang Chen, Shen Yueyue, Ji Bingxuan, Zhang Ping, Qiangba Puncog, Arken Imirbaki, Wan Exiang, Zhang Baowen and Chen Zhu.

Wang Chen also held the post of secretary-general of the NPC Standing Committee.

According to the rules of election and appointment adopted at the NPC session, the elections of chairman, vice-chairpersons and secretary-general of the 12th NPC Standing Committee, president and vice-president of the PRC, and chairman of the CMC are non-competitive.

The elections of the 12th NPC Standing Committee members are competitive. A total of 161 members were elected out of 174 candidates, bringing the 7-percent margin in the previous election five years ago to 8 percent.

The NPC deputies also adopted a massive cabinet restructuring and streamlining plan which aimed to reduce bureaucracy and make the government more efficient.

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