Chinese poll was compelling

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The work of China’s so-called rubberstamp parliament does not even consist of rubberstamping.

It emerged yesterday that in Thursday’s vote for the presidency, each delegate was handed a ballot with one name on it: Xi Jinping. Each dropped it in a box and no mark was required to vote for Mr Xi.

Any suspense about the choice of the Communist Party leadership was lifted in November, when Mr Xi became general secretary. The 2,952-to-1 vote for Mr Xi’s more ceremonial title of president was ritual.