Hong Kong (CNN)Xi Jinping's unprecedented third term as China's president was officially endorsed by the country's political elite on Friday, solidifying his control and making him the longest-serving head of state of Communist China since its founding in 1949.
Xi was reappointed Friday as president for another five years by China's rubber-stamp legislature in a ceremonial vote in Beijing's Great Hall of the People -- a highly choreographed exercise in political theater meant to demonstrate the legitimacy and unity of the ruling elite.
He received a unanimous 2,952 votes followed by a standing ovation.
The reappointment of Xi, China's most powerful and authoritarian leader in decades, was largely seen as a formality, after the 69-year-old secured a norm-shattering third term as head of the Chinese Communist Party last fall.
In China, the presidency -- or "state chairman" in Chinese -- is a largely ceremonial title. Real power resides in the positions of head of the party and military, two key roles that Xi also holds and was reappointed to at a key Communist Party congress in October.
Nevertheless, his reappointment as head of state officially completes his transition into a second decade in power.
And it comes amid a broader reshuffle of leadership roles in the central government, or the State Council, and other state organizations that further increases Xi's already firm grasp on the levers of power.
Li Qiang, one of Xi's most trusted protégés, is expected to be chosen China's premier on Saturday.
Traditionally, the premiership is an influential role in charge of the econ