Chinese poll was compelling

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.

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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.