China's rubber-stamp legislature has appointed a close ally of President Xi Jinping to the formerly ceremonial post of vice president.

The appointment of Wang Qishan is expected to further Xi's agenda of shoring up Communist Party rule while ending corruption and poverty.

Wang is known as China's "Mr. Fix-It," deployed to tackle the thorniest of crises — from crumbling banks to deadly illness to high-level corruption.

The appointment of Xi's trusted ally to the vice presidency is seen as a sign Xi will bolster the powers of the normally ceremonial post.

Wang had led the party's much-feared anti-corruption agency that investigated more than 1 million party members over the past several years before stepping down in October from the party's apex of power in line with retirement norms.