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China

Xi Jinping confirmed as China’s new president

China's parliament has appointed Communist Party leader Xi Jinping the nation's president. Under rules on age and tenure, Hu Jintao, 70, stepped down in November from party leadership after a decade.

Xi, 59, who succeeded Hu as leader of the ruling Communist Party in November, was handed the largely ceremonial additional title of president with a vote of 99.7 percent by the 2,961 delegates to the National People's Congress.

Earlier on Thursday, delegates approved a plan to streamline government ministries and endorsed Xi as chairman of the state military commission, in addition to his current role as chief of the party's Central Military Commission. Li Yuanchao was made vice president with 96 percent.

The streamlining will abolish the Railways Ministry, marred by allegations of corruption, merging its main functions with Transport and setting up a company to handle commercial operations.

mkg/jm(AFP, dpa, AP)

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