Op-Ed: In China, Xi Jinping is getting an unprecedented third term. What should the world expect?
China’s Xi Jinping looks at the map in Tiananmen Square during his third term party congress in Beijing April 1, 2012. Xi is now the Chinese President for life.
FILE – In this May 17, 2012 file photo, Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Barack Obama speak during the Obama-Xi summit at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Xi was elected to a third four-year term as China’s president Wednesday in a landslide victory over opposition rivals who accused the Chinese leader of trying to consolidate his grip on power.
People with disabilities at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing during a visit by President Xi Jinping in March 2015.
CHINA — President Xi Jinping took office last year as China’s leader for life, giving him unprecedented powers to rule on an ever-expanding scope of issues he may have not yet mastered. Here’s what you need to know about the unprecedented third term his nation has elected him to:
What’s his power?
Xi’s second term, which lasted four years, was marked by his first major foreign policy challenge when he traveled to Washington in 2013 to take part in the G-20 summit. The president faced unprecedented criticism from the U.S. over his stance on human rights, cyber espionage, Taiwan’s independence and alleged corruption.
During Xi’s first term — the first real chance for him to consolidate his powers — he took few public policy steps. But there was a clear message to China’s political elites and the public of his pledge to reform China’s political and economic system, and to “open up” the nation.
Then his second term began in earnest when he won the first-ever Nobel Peace Prize on Dec. 9, 2013. He also became China’s first Nobel laureate since the first Dalai Lama in 1959.
Xi’s second term has been marked by a growing international profile, culminating in his trip to the United States in September 2015. There, Xi was greeted by a large crowd in Washington who stood in silence while he gave a speech titled “Opening Up: The Path to Sustainability.” The speech drew criticism from critics accusing him of using the summit as an opportunity to advance his own political ambitions. But the event