Former Politburo standing committee member Xi Jinping was elected as president of the People's Republic of China and chairman of the Chinese Communist Party yesterday, opening a new chapter in mainland China's rise as a superpower.
Xi won a majority of the vote by the National People's Congress with no surprises. He had also assumed leadership of the Central Military Commission last year, giving him total command over the central goverment as well as the military. Before his ascension as president and CCP chairman, Xi had said that he would that bringing happiness to the people would be his top priority.
Under former president Hu Jintao, mainland China had astonished observers with its economic growth over the past decade, coming close to a ten-percent rise in its GDP each year.
Acccording to the Chinese-language World Journal, Xi had emphasized the China dream last year during his visits to the counrtry's military, but had not explained what the dream consisted of.
One of the hot issues brought forward by the delegates of the National People's Congress this year was constitutional reform. Already, the NPC had placed criminal law reform on the agenda this year. The reform would give the accused rights similar to the those in democratic countries.
More than ten years of economic growth driven mostly by its exports, the mainland economy is slowly transforming itself with an expansion in its service sector as well as a rise in domestic consumption.
Analysts point to Xi's challenges in the future as corruption in financial institutions, discrepancy betwen large cities and rural towns in terms of income, and inadequate social services for the nation's weak and elderly.