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Why are there two cups of tea on Xi Jinping’s table?

Chinese President Xi Jinping talks with Li Qiang, who is expected to become prime minister, at the 14th National People's Congress session in Beijing on March 10.  In front of Mr. Xi are two cups of tea, while Mr. Li has only one - Photo: Reuters

President of China Xi Jinping talked with Mr. Li Qiang, who is expected to become prime minister, at the 14th National People’s Congress session in Beijing on March 10. In front of Mr. Xi are two cups of tea, while Mr. Li has only one – Photo: Reuters

On March 10, at the first session of the National People’s Congress (National People’s Congress), General Secretary of the Communist Party of China Xi Jinping was re-elected by delegates as president and chairman of the Central Military Commission for the third term, until 2028, with an absolute vote of 2,952/2,952.

One person, two cups of tea

Mr. Xi – who turns 70 next June – was re-elected president after being elected as general secretary at the 20th National Congress in October 2022.

During the ceremony sworn broadcast live on national television, Xi raised his right fist and placed his left hand on a red leather-bound copy of the Constitution, pledging to “build a prosperous, powerful socialist country, democracy, civilization, harmony and beauty”.

Being elected to a third term as president has cemented Xi’s grip on power.

No Chinese leader had previously held the role head of state for more than 10 years, including the founder of the People’s Republic of China – Chairman Mao Zedong.

According to AFP news agency, Mr. Xi has become China’s most powerful leader in generations.

After Mao Zedong died, the leader Deng set a presidential term limit (two terms) in the Chinese Constitution in 1982.

However, in March 2018, the National Assembly of China approved amendments to the Constitution, including removing the term limit for the president.

At this year’s National People’s Congress, observers noticed a special symbol of Xi’s power: in front of him were two cups of tea, while others only had one.

Two cups of tea also appeared in front of Xi at the National People’s Congress of China in March 2021, but at the time some thought it was just a measure related to the COVID-19 epidemic.

In China, there is a saying “People go, tea is cold”.

In the summer of 2015, People’s Daily published the iconic article encouraging “go away, cold tea” which in effect urged retired elders in the Chinese Communist Party to leave politics instead. hold on to power, trying to “keep my cup of tea hot”.

However, with the sight of two cups of tea in front of Mr. Xi in 2021, Nikkei once said that not only did Xi’s tea not cool, even though he had a decade in office, but also Another hot cup of tea was waiting for him to sip.

China has changed phenomenally

Over the past decade, since Xi came to power in 2012, China has undergone “extraordinary change”.

During his more than 10 years in power, Mr. Xi has worked to eradicate corruption through his “smash the tigers, kill the flies” campaign, claiming to have eliminated the serious potential for corruption within the Party, State and military. team.

He also launched a series of economic, defense and social policies… to promote China’s position in the international arena.

He sought to reduce China’s dependence on exports and increase domestic consumption, ordered the modernization of the military, and claimed complete victory in the eradication of poverty in the country 1.4 billion people.

Xi is now firmly in power, but he will face numerous challenges both at home and abroad over the next five years.

Domestic, background China’s economy struggling to recover after three years of strict COVID-19 restrictions.

At this National Assembly session, China only placed growth goals economic “modest” around 5% in 2023. In addition, investor confidence declines and the risk of a demographic crisis as the country records its population (in 2022) declines for the first time in 60 years. year.

Outside the country, China is facing a series of diplomatic obstacles from the US and other Western countries, as relations between China and these countries have become increasingly strained in recent years because of human rights issues. , military operations of Beijing, the COVID-19 pandemic and because of the growing partnership between China and Russia.

Earlier this week, Mr. Xi directly criticized the US. In these unusual comments, Mr. Xi accused Washington of leading a campaign to suppress China.

“Western countries led by the US have comprehensively restrained and suppressed us. This poses unprecedented serious challenges to our development,” Xi told a group. government advisor representing private businesses on the sidelines of the National Assembly session.

According to the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on March 10, on the occasion of Xi Jinping being elected by the National Assembly of China as president and chairman of the Central Military Commission for the third term, General Secretary Nguyen Phu TrongPresident and Chairman of the National Defense and Security Council Vo Van Thuong sent a congratulatory message.

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