Beat this, Falklands Islanders. The red smoke has risen.
As expected, China’s new Communist Party chief Xi Jinping was elected president of China on Thursday by a landslide. The final tally: 2,952 in favor, with one opposed and three abstentions.
In other words, Mr. Xi nabbed 99.86% of the vote, beating out electoral luminaries like Paul Kagame, who was elected president of Rwanda with 95% of the vote in 2003, and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, who won re-election with 97.6% of the vote in 2007.
The question now burning up Chinese social media sites: Who was the lone voter who dared vote against the country’s anointed leader?
100% turn out too! Most speculation is that Xi voted against himself, because he's humble, like the pope.
Anyway, that's the last we'll see of Hu Jintao, who can now let his hair dye grow out, take up windsurfing and spend more time with his collection of pet rocks. Kerry Brown gives him his due here. I found Hu's deliberate cultivation of anti-charisma fascinating. One European leader supposedly called him the most boring man he ever met, which is no doubt true, but it would be humanly impossible to be quite as boring as Hu seemed to be. Writers are supposed to cultivate negative capability. Hu cultivated negative personality.
There was something obsessive-compulsive about it all. It's speculated that people with OCD adopt rituals and rigid patterns as a kind of evocation, to keep their world from spinning apart and Hu's use of Chinese commujnist jargon and ritual seemed to have a lot of the same quality. He preached the 'peaceful rise' but as the man behind the curtain he knew that China's rise had a heaving, protean quality of almost Lovecraftain dimensions. So he preached stability even as he couldn't help spreading anxiety.
Xi is an altogether smoother chap. Perhaps he's already come to terms with Chulthu. He smiles because he nows that when the time comes, he will be eaten first.