Chinese President Xi Jinping walks to deliver his speech at the closing session of the National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China March 20, 2018. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
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President Xi Jinping vowed Tuesday to protect "every inch" of China's territory, improve the lives of its people and promote the resurgence of Chinese culture and creativity as he kicked off his second term, poised to rule indefinitely.Xi, China's most powerful leader in decades, sounded a stark warning clearly directed at the government of self-ruled Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its territory, and advocates of independence in the southern Chinese city of Hong Kong.Xi said the mainland would continue to promote "peaceful unification" with Taiwan.China's longer-than-usual, 16-day legislative session had earlier approved a range of new appointments, including that of key Xi ally Wang Qishan as vice president.
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