China's National People's Congress gives President Xi Jinping second five-year term
- Author: Rogelio Becker Mar 18, 2018,
Mar 18, 2018, 1:13
After the announcement of the election result, Xi Jinping, China's newly-elected president, shook hands with Wang and extended his congratulations to him amid warm applause in the Great Hall of the People.
While Xi's reappointment was assumed, there had been some speculation about Wang. Mr Xi was also voted chairman of the Central Military Commission, receiving the full measure of 2,970 votes.
Wang received 2,969 votes in favor and one against, Hong Kong's English-language South China Morning Post reported.
The 69-year-old troubleshooter has been a confidante of President Xi since "they were young" and helped set up China's first investment bank with Morgan Stanley in the 1990s.
"I pledge loyalty to the constitution of the People's Republic of China" Xi recited, vowing to "strenuously struggle to build a rich, strong, democratic and civilised" country.
Al Jazeera's Scott Heidler reports from Beijing, China.
But he has kept a prominent profile, sitting at the same table as the seven members of the Politburo Standing Committee during the public sessions of the National People's Congress while receiving fervent applause from the delegates as he voted.
"He's a very capable politician, so it makes sense he would still be around", Brown told AFP, noting that "it also shows we're in an unconventional time in Chinese politics".
Xi is expected to expand his yearslong campaign against corruption within the Communist Party to include all state employees through the creation of a new National Supervisory Commission, while continuing to pursue a muscular foreign policy and policies to upgrade the slowing economy. In February, the surplus with the U.S. stood at US$21 billion, official data from China's General Administration of Customs showed, more than double the $10.4 billion recorded during the same period previous year.
Before leading the anti-corruption drive, Wang was vice premier in charge of economic issues and led trade talks with the United States and the European Union.
But if Wang was asked by Xi to take on a particular portfolio, Tsang said it would be hard to see how the party's top leadership could block the move.
"Choosing Wang as vice-president will consolidate [Xi's] power", said Hua Po, an independent Chinese political commentator.