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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

China's leader re-elected in near-unanimous vote

RIA Novosti

15/03/2008 17:30 BEIJING, March 15 (RIA Novosti) - China's National People's Congress re-elected Hu Jintao as president on Saturday in an almost unanimous vote, giving him a new five-year term at the helm of the world's most populous nation.

In the 3,000-seat legislature only three delegates voted against Hu, and five abstained. He was also confirmed as head of the Central Military Commission.

The top member of the Secretariat of the Communist Party of China, Xi Jinping, was elected vice president. Xi is seen as a likely future leader of China.

Hu's popularity remains high among China's middle class, after years of fast-paced economic growth under his presidency.

However, the leadership currently faces a major challenge with ongoing anti-Chinese riots in Tibet. Chinese troops have reportedly launched a crackdown on supporters of the self-proclaimed Tibetan government in Lhasa, but the number of casualties remains uncertain.

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