China's parliament unanimously handed President Xi Jinping a second term Saturday and elevated his right-hand man to the vice presidency, giving him a strong ally to consolidate power and handle US trade threats.
Xi's reappointment by the Communist Party-controlled legislature was a foregone conclusion, but all eyes had been on whether his former anti-corruption enforcer, Wang Qishan, would become his deputy, AFP reported.
Meanwhile, the National People's Congress has widely expanded Xi's already considerable authority during its annual session, adding his name to the constitution and lifting the two five-year term limit for the presidency and vice presidency.
Xi received a standing ovation after winning all 2,970 votes for the presidency and Central Military Commission chairman. In 2013, he had received 2,952 votes, with one against and three abstentions, a 99.86 percent share.
Only one delegate voted against Wang's appointment, with 2,969 in favor.
Xi and Wang shook hands as the legislators heaped on applause.
As part of the package of constitutional amendments, Xi and Wang for the first time took the oath of office by pledging allegiance to the constitution.
Xi put his left hand on a red-covered book containing the charter, and raised his right fist to take his vow.
"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 civilized" country.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team