As expected, China's President Xi Jinping was unanimously confirmed for a third term by the People's Congress in Beijing on Friday. During the precisely choreographed ceremony, however, one detail was noticed that had already caused question marks at the opening of the session on Sunday: alone on the 69-year-old's seat were two prepared cups of white tea. The other members of the leadership team had to be content with a single cup each.
The state media did not explain this special treatment. Even on China's strictly censored social media, there was no discussion. However, BBC journalist Celia Hatton concluded it could be a subtle show of force. "Even with small things like two cups, Xi Jinping can set himself apart," says Hatton.
Symbols have played an important role in Chinese politics - and have done so for a very long time. In the past, only emperors were allowed to wear yellow robes. However, the two cups are not entirely new for Xi Jinping. The President was seen with two cups in front of him for the first time in 2021.