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Vietnam top communist Trong's 3rd term heralds next leader race

Party chief faces challenges in China and Biden's expected focus on human rights

Vietnamese President Nguyen Phu Trong speaks at a news conference after the closing ceremony of 13th National Congress of Vietnam's ruling Communist Party in Hanoi on Feb. 1. Trong was re-elected as party general secretary for an unprecedented third term.   © Reuters

HANOI/TOKYO -- Vietnam's Communist Party congress closed on Monday with the announcement that President Nguyen Phu Trong was given an unprecedented third five-year term as general secretary.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, 66, will be elevated to president. Pham Minh Chinh is to succeed Phuc as prime minister and Vuong Dinh Hue will serve as chair of the National Assembly. The three positions will be officially decided when the next National Assembly is convened after the congress, rounding out the "four pillars" of Vietnam's party leadership.

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