The vast majority of delegates voted in favor of him: the successor to outgoing Premier Li Keqiang is a close confidante of Xi Jinping.
The Chinese People’s Congress has elected Li Qiang as China’s new prime minister. As expected, the nearly 3,000 hand-picked delegates voted for the 63-year-old with an overwhelming majority at their current annual meeting in the Great Hall of the People. Li Qiang succeeds Li Keqiang (67), who is retiring after ten years.
Unlike his predecessor, Li Qiang, who was most recently party leader in Shanghai, belongs to President Xi Jinping’s camp and is considered a close confidante of the state and party leader.
Xi Jinping remains in office
On Friday, Xi Jinping was confirmed by the People’s Congress for an unusual third term as president. At the party conference in October, the 69-year-old had already ignored the previously respected age and term of office restrictions and had a permanent leadership role anchored in the party constitution. With his sole rule, he ties in with the founder of the state and revolutionary Mao Tsetung, who, however, had brought chaos to the country.
At the one-week annual conference, which lasts until Monday, the largest government reshuffle in ten years will take place, at which mainly close confidants of Xi Jinping will rise.