China’s Communist Party names Xi ally Li Qiang as new premier


Beijing, March 11, (dpa/GNA) – China’s People’s Congress, has appointed Li Qiang as the country’s new premier, a high-profile politician, known to be a close confidant of President Xi Jinping.

As expected, an overwhelming majority of the roughly 3,000 hand-picked delegates, voted for the 63-year-old at the annual week-long meeting of the People’s Congress on Saturday, a major Communist Party gathering in Beijing.

Li, the former party leader of Shanghai, replaced outgoing Premier Li Keqiang after two terms in office.

Traditionally, China’s premier has been in charge of economic planning. However, this has changed significantly during Xi’s time in office. He sought to concentrate power in his own hands in many areas.

Li Qiang has had a long career, mostly spent on China’s prosperous east coast. He is said to have economic expertise, and to look kindly on private enterprise.

During his time as Shanghai party leader, US electric carmaking giant Tesla built, a major plant in the city.

Under his leadership, the city initially imposed less restrictive measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, but was eventually put under a strict two-month lockdown, after struggling to contain a major outbreak in spring last year, a turn of events that apparently hasn’t hampered Li’s political trajectory.

Unlike his predecessor, Li is also considered a close confidant of President Xi, who named him a high-ranking member of the Politburo Standing Committee, an elite group of top Communist Party leaders in charge of major decisions in China.

State and party leader Xi, 69, was handed an unprecedented third term by the People’s Congress on Friday, after he had already overturned former age and term limits at a Party Congress in October, cementing his hold on power in the world second-largest economy.

During this year’s meeting of the People’s Congress, which is scheduled to run until Monday, delegates also approved Xi’s plans for the biggest reorganization of the government in years.

The plans focus on China’s “technological leadership,” and involve cutting about 5% of government jobs.



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *