Premier Li Keqiang and President Xi Jinping.
Xi Jinping was anointed/elected President of the People’s Republic of China on Thursday, surprising absolutely no one. We look at the other appointments that may have slipped your notice, and the numbers behind Xi’s rise to China’s top job (on paper, Xi already ascended to the real top job in November when he became General Secretary of the Communist Party of China).
Since it was announced that Xi is China’s president, a number of other unsurprising appointments have also been made:
Li Keqiang becomes Premier of the People’s Republic of China
Fan Changlong, Xu Qiliang endorsed as vice chairmen of Central Military Commission of PRC (serving under Xi Jinping as chairman)
Zhou Qiang becomes president of China’s Supreme People’s Court
Cao Jianming re-elected procurator-general of China’s Supreme People’s Procuratorate (Cao has been China’s top prosecutor since 2008)
The one surprise of this year’s National People’s Congress (NPC) was Xi’s pick of Li Yuanchao as vice president, an apparent snub to Jiang Zemin, who was believed to favour Liu Yunshan, though Liu, unlike Li, does have a spot on the CPC Standing Committee.
Now lets put our Nate Silver hats on and examine the numbers behind Xi’s hard won election:
number of votes cast in China’s presidential election
number of votes cast for Xi Jinping
number of abstentions
number of votes against
share of the vote won by Xi Jinping
share of the Chinese population able to vote in the election (h/t: WP)
So who cast the lone vote against Xi’s inevitable inauguration as president? Our friends over at China Real Time think they might have the answer:
While some heaped praise on the anonymous rebel for having the courage to swim against an overwhelming tide, most were more interested in discovering who he or she might have been.
At least one microblogger speculated that the culprit could have been Li Yuanchao, Mr. Xi’s new reform-minded vice president, who was denied a spot on the Communist Party’s all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee last October — though presumably Mr. Li’s ego would have been soothed somewhat by his recent promotion.
Others figured it was someone who felt threatened by Mr. Xi’s recent push to clean up the party’s image.
But one of the most popular guesses was that Mr. Xi himself had been responsible for the lone no vote.
“He definitely was the one who voted against himself,” wrote one microblogger. “It’s a sign of his genuine humility.”
“It had to be Xi Jinping himself who voted no. When we were voting for class monitor as kids, that’s how it always was,” wrote another.