Xi Jinping secures third term as China’s president

China’s President Xi Jinping on Friday secured his third five-year term in an unprecedented move to tighten his grip to become the country’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong.

Nearly 3,000 members of China’s rubber-stamp parliament, the National People’s Congress (NPC), voted unanimously in the Great Hall of the People for Xi, 69, to be president in an election where there was no other candidate, with voting lasting for about an hour and the electronic counting completed in about 15 minutes.

“I pledge to be allegiant to the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), 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. I, Xi Jinping, take this oath,” Xi said while taking the oath.

For Xi, the stage was set for another term when he did away with presidential term limits in 2018. Last October, his power was already extended when he was reconfirmed for another five years as general secretary of the central committee of the ruling Communist Party.

Over the next two days, officials approved by Xi are set to be appointed or elected to fill top positions in the cabinet, including premier-in-waiting Li Qiang, who is expected to be named to China’s No.2 post, putting him in charge of managing the world’s second-largest economy.