The Chinese People’s Congress has confirmed head of state and party leader Xi Jinping for an unusual third term as president.

As expected, the almost 3,000 hand-picked delegates voted today at their current annual meeting in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing for a further extension of the term of office by five years.

Major government restructuring

At the party conference in October, the 69-year-old defied previously respected age and term limits and had a permanent leadership role enshrined in the party constitution. With his sole rule, he ties in with the founder of the state and revolutionary Mao Tsetung, who, however, had brought chaos to the country.

The week-long annual conference, which lasts until Monday, will see the largest government reshuffle in ten years, with close confidants of Xi Jinping in particular moving up. Former Shanghai party leader Li Qiang is set to become the new prime minister on Saturday. The 63-year-old succeeds Li Keqiang (67), who was not in Xi Jinping’s camp and is expected to step down after two terms.