- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 15, 2003

BEIJING, March 15 (UPI) — The National People's Congress Saturday elected Communist Party leader Hu Jintao as president, replacing Jiang Zemin.

Jiang, 76, stepped down after serving the maximum of two five-year terms, but was re-elected chairman of the Central Military Commission, China's top military post.

Hu, 60, became a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee last November, during the Party's 16th National Congress. Hu,the only candidate for the post, had served as vice president since 1998. Of the nearly 3,000 NPC delegates, only four voted against Hu, China's Xinhua news agency said.

The plenary session also elected Zeng Qinghong vice president of the People's Republic of China and Wu Bangguo as chairman of the NPC Standing Committee. Zeng would become president should the post become open for any reason.

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