Xi Jinping Begins Third Term as President of China with Focus on Relations with the U.S.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has secured an unprecedented third term as head of state, as he seeks to maintain his position as a global statesman and address an increasingly strained relationship with the United States.
Xi's reappointment was a formality after he took a third term as Communist Party chief in 2022. As head of the party and the military, he holds significant power, but he has also used his largely ceremonial presidency to present himself as China's face to the world.
Despite this, Xi has expressed pessimism about relations between China and the U.S., and has accused Washington of leading a containment campaign against China. Some analysts suggest that Xi may seek to define his legacy over the next five years through bold action, which could carry significant risks. Xi is likely to increase foreign travel this year, including a visit to Moscow and potentially some European countries, in an effort to repair strained relations.
As he begins his third term, Chinese President Xi Jinping faces a host of challenges, particularly in navigating China's relationships beyond its borders. The COVID-19 pandemic has left the world more hostile to China's interests, due in large part to the efforts of the United States, which has rallied its allies to curb China's access to critical technologies and has been critical of China's support for Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.
Xi has been preparing China for confrontation with the U.S., urging officials to ensure that China's GDP grows faster than that of the U.S. to demonstrate the superiority of its one-party system. China's military has also been strengthened, and its nuclear arsenal expanded. Chinese officials and diplomats say that they are unable to discuss anything significant with their American counterparts without a clear directive from Xi, and few are willing to pose for photos with Americans in the current climate.