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Xi Jinping becomes China's most powerful ruler since Mao Zedong with historic third term

Xi becomes the longest-serving Chinese leader since communist revolutionary Mao Zedong.

Published: October 23, 2022 8:50am

Updated: October 23, 2022 3:20pm

President Xi Jinping became China's most powerful leader since communist revolutionary Mao Zedong after he secured a historic third term in office.

Xi, 69, on Saturday was awarded another 5-year term as general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, breaking the custom of serving 10 years and making him the longest-serving Chinese leader since Mao, according to The Associated Press.

New members of the 7-man Politburo Standing Committee were also named. The appointees are "all loyal to Xi," said Hong Kong Baptist University politics expert Jean-Pierre Cabestan.  

"Power will be even more concentrated in the hands of Xi Jinping," he said. "There is no counterweight or checks and balances in the system at all."

The closing ceremony of Saturday's meeting was marked with questions after former Chinese President Hu Jintao, 79, was seemingly pulled out of the event against his will. 

This led some to speculate if Xi was flexing his power by expelling his predecessor. Chinese state media reported that Hu was ill and needed to rest.

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