Xi Jinping Awarded Third Period, Saudi Arabia-Iran Reconciliation
After the eras of China's charismatic leaders, Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, Xi is now seen as the most powerful leader in the country as well as a figure with strong influence at the global level.
B JOSIE SUSILO HARDIANTO, MUHAMMAD SAMSUL HADI, AGNES THEDOORA, LARASWATI ARIADNE ANWAR
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BEIJING, KOMPAS — Chinese leader, Xi Jinping (69), Friday (10/3/2023), was sworn in as president for the third term. After the eras of China's charismatic leaders, Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, Xi is now seen as the most powerful leader in the country as well as a figure with strong influence at the global level.
One of the strengths of its global influence is reflected in China's success in reconciling two sworn enemies in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia and Iran. Right on the day of Xi's inauguration, Riyadh and Tehran released a joint communiqué containing an agreement, mediated by China, to restore diplomatic relations and reopen their respective embassies after seven years of hiatus.
Iranian state media posted photos and video footage in China, showing the meeting of the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani and National Security Adviser of Saudi Arabia Musaad bin Mohammed al-Aiban as well as the director of the Office of Foreign Affairs Commission of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, Wang Yi. He said the negotiations lasted four days.
"We will see China being more assertive on the global stage and insisting that its narrative be accepted," said Steve Tsang, director of the SOAS China Institute.
Adrian Geiges, coauthor of Xi Jinping: The Most Powerful Man in the World, said, "He [Xi] really has a vision for China. He wants to see China as the most powerful country in the world."
Xi's appointment as the president of China for the third term was held in an event at the Great Hall of the People as part a series of annual sessions of the National People's Congress. All 2,952 members of the congress delegation naturally chose Xi to be the president as well as chairman of the Central Military Commission. Voting lasted about an hour. Electronic counting was completed in 15 minutes.
I swear allegiance to the constitution of the People's Republic of China, uphold the dignity of the constitution, carry out statutory obligations, be loyal to the motherland, loyal to the people.
In addition to selecting Xi, members of the delegation chose Zhao Leji (66) as speaker of parliament and Han Zheng (68) as the new vice president.
This determination was followed by a statement of allegiance by all members of the delegation to the Chinese Constitution. Xi raised his right hand and placed his left hand on a copy of the Chinese Constitution.
"I swear allegiance to the constitution of the People's Republic of China, uphold the dignity of the constitution, carry out statutory obligations, be loyal to the motherland, loyal to the people," Xi said.
He vowed to fulfill his duties honestly with hard work. Xi also promised to build China as a prosperous, strong, democratic, civilized, harmonious and great modern socialist country.
By taking office for a third term, Xi becomes China's longest-serving President. Previously, Xi was re-elected as general secretary of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party at the national congress, October 2022.
On the day Xi was elected the Chinese president for a third term, public activity in Beijing was normal. However, surveillance in the city center, especially along the streets of Chaoyang District, 5 kilometers from Tiananmen Square, was tightened with the presence of civilian surveillance officers.
The surveillance volunteers attributed with bright red armbands are often called by local netizens as "the fifth largest intelligence agent [unit] in the world" after the CIA from the United States, MI6 from England, the KGB from the Soviet Union and the Mossad from Israel.
Throughout last Friday they patrolled the streets in the city center. During the last week, they did not appear to be patrolling. The new monitors were deployed yesterday to coincide with Xi's reelection.
Throughout the day, brief profiles of Xi and officials in his new cabinet were broadcast on national television channels. Congratulations were also broadcast from several heads of state for Xi's reinauguration, such as from Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Meanwhile, a video anthology titled “Xi's Album: For the Good of My People” was published on the website of a local English-language newspaper, The Global Times, three days before the inauguration. The video contains a collection of moments of Xi's interactions with citizens during his last two terms in office. The video says, the Chinese people are always in Xi's heart.
According to reports from several local media outlets, the election of Xi for the third time was greeted with joy by the people, especially residents in rural areas. In Zhanqi Village, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, residents gathered at the village hall to watch Xi's inauguration live together.
They applauded, stood and sang the Chinese national anthem as Xi took the oath.
Xi visited Zhanqi Village in 2018 when he promised that the revitalization of villages and the eradication of poverty in rural areas would go hand in hand with the modernization of the whole of China.
Secretary of the Zhanqi Village Committee, Gao Demin, said Xi's leadership succeeded in bringing many rural areas out of poverty. "I believe, with President Xi's continued leadership, our lives will improve," he said as broadcast on the CGTN television channel. (AP/AFP/REUTERS)