Xi Jinping tightens his grip on China: President secures historic third five-year term ensuring he is the most powerful ruler since Chairman Mao – and surrounds himself with loyalists

President Xi Jinping has tightened his grip on power in China after being given a historic third term as head of its ruling Communist Party.

The 69-year-old will lead the world’s most populous nation for another five years after he was confirmed as General Secretary once more at today’s televised Communist Party Congress.

In the process he promoted allies who support his vision of tighter control over society and the struggling economy, as he discarded party custom that has seen previous leaders leave after 10 years in power.

Mr Xi, who took power in 2012, is now expected by some to try and stay in power for life as he becomes the most powerful ruler since Mao Zedong.

It comes a day after remarkable scenes which saw his immediate predecessor Hu Jintao apparently forcibly removed from his seat by guards and his name removed from social media.

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