On Saturday, National People’s Congress (NPC) deputies approved the nomination of Li Qiang, a longtime ally of the country’s leader Xi Jinping, as premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China. informed Reuters.
The National People’s Congress (Chinese Parliament) backed Li’s candidacy in a vote held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Li Qiang obtained 2,936 votes, with three votes against him and eight deputies abstaining.
Li Qiang, 63, will replace incumbent Premier Li Keqiang, who had been Xi’s deputy since 2013.
Who is Li Qiang
Born in the eastern province of Zhejiang, Li began his career as a laborer at an irrigation pumping station. He graduated in agricultural mechanization from Ningbo City College, then went through all levels of the provincial party bureaucracy.
Li owes the rise of his career to Xi Jinping. The future Chinese premier served as de facto chief of staff to Xi Jinping when he was party chief of Zhejiang province from 2002 to 2007.
His last position was as secretary of the Shanghai Party Committee. In 2019, Li oversaw the launch of China’s stock market on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, and then proved his worth during the covid lockdown.
CNN notes that Li is the first prime minister since Mao to never serve on the State Council, China’s cabinet.
What tasks will Li Qiang solve
Traditionally, the Chinese premier plays an important role in managing the economy, although over the past decade his powers have been severely curtailed by Xi Jinping, who has taken almost all the reins of power into his own hands. .
How ORemarks CNN says much of the new prime minister’s efforts will likely focus on trying to change the direction of China’s economy. China’s new GDP growth target for 2023 is set at around 5%. This is the lowest figure in decades.
The new Prime Minister will have to work under difficult conditions. China is experiencing a housing slump, consumer spending is plummeting and youth unemployment remains high. Additionally, the government has experienced a decline in business confidence following unprecedented regulation of the private sector.
Against the backdrop of deteriorating relations between Beijing and Washington, foreign investment in the Chinese economy has fallen sharply. The new Prime Minister is also called upon to solve this problem. According to a Citigroup research report, under Li Qiang, “China’s business environment is expected to become friendlier for at least the next two years.” The new Prime Minister should support private companies and foreign investors.
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