BEIJING: China’s Parliament on Saturday confirmed President Xi Jinping’s trusted ally Li Qiang as the new Premier to revive the world’s second-largest economy hit by three years of ‘zero-Covid’ restrictions and worsening ties with the West. Li Qiang, 63, succeeds Li Keqiang, 67, who held the post for 10 years.
The annual session of the National People’s Congress (NPC), a largely ceremonial body which routinely passes the proposals of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC), approved Li Qiang’s candidature after his name was proposed by Xi. However, his “election” unlike that of Xi was not unanimous.
He was endorsed by 2,936 of the 2,947 NPC members who attended the meeting, with three voting against and eight abstaining, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post newspaper reported. After the voting, Xi signed a decree appointing Li Qiang as Premier following which he took a pledge of allegiance to the Constitution. Later, he shook hands with Li Qiang in brief video clips shown on the national television.
Li Qiang is said to be a pro-business politician in Xi’s inner circle. Bilateral ties between China and some of the major western nations, especially with the US, are at their lowest point in decades, leading to escalating tensions in technology and investment.
Source: Press Trust of India