Both the president and vice president are elected by the NPC.
According to the Constitution, candidates for the president and vice president must meet two conditions. One is the political condition. The candidates must be citizens of the People’s Republic of China who have the right to vote and to stand for election. The other is the condition on age. Candidates must have reached the age of 45. In revising this condition first laid out in the Constitution of 1954, the 1982 Constitution raised the age from 35 to 45, based on the consideration that the president whose job is of great importance to the country must be politically mature, have rich work experience, and enjoy high reputation. These requirements are hard to meet unless the candidate has reached a certain age.
Candidates for the president and vice president are proposed by the NPC presidium for deliberation by all the deputies. Then the presidium officially decides on the candidates, one for the presidency and one for the vice presidency, for election through voting by the NPC. As the political democratization process continues, the single-candidate practice will gradually be replaced by multi-candidate election.
The 1982 Constitution also stipulates that the power of dismissal of the president and vice president rests with the NPC. In other words, no organizations, political parties, social organizations or individuals have the power to remove the president or the vice president except the National People’s Congress.
(China.org.cn May 20, 2003)