News / Asia

China Names Li Keqiang as Premier

China's President Xi Jinping shakes hands with China's newly elected Premier Li Keqiang (L) as other delegates clap during the fifth plenary meeting of the first session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC) in Beijing, March 15, 2013.
China's President Xi Jinping shakes hands with China's newly elected Premier Li Keqiang (L) as other delegates clap during the fifth plenary meeting of the first session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC) in Beijing, March 15, 2013.
VOA News
China's parliament has elected Li Keqiang premier as the country's Communist Party nears the final stages of its once-a-decade transition of power.

As expected, the National People's Congress on Friday nearly unanimously selected the English-speaking Mr. Li to replace Wen Jiabao. The 57-year-old will be in charge of running China's economy and day-to-day leadership of the government.

The parliament, which reflexively endorses the decisions of the Communist Party, named Xi Jinping as president a day earlier, in a formality that completes his rise to China's top leadership position.

Since attaining the top spots in the party at a congress in November, the two men have vowed to revamp China's economy, reduce pollution and crack down on widespread corruption. They are expected to serve in their positions for the next 10 years.

Cabinet appointments and other top government positions will be announced Saturday, providing more insight into the direction of China's new leaders. Observers will also look for clues when Mr. Li holds a rare news conference at the end of the National People's Congress on Sunday.

Douglas Paal with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace says he expects the new leadership will try to take advantage of the reputation of its predecessors for having been slow to reform and not strong enough abroad.

"We see a strong emphasis coming out of the party at the [National People's Congress] and other meetings of the last two weeks to convey a sense that reform is going to move forward in the next five years, and we also see a strong sense of continuity in foreign policy," he said.

Paal says he expects China's new leaders to continue protecting China's interests in the conflicts that have developed with some of its neighbors, including territorial disputes with Japan and the Philippines.

U.S. President Barack Obama discussed foreign policy with President Xi during a Thursday phone call to congratulate the leader on his new position. The White House says the discussion focused in part on the North Korean nuclear threat and the growing concern of cyber security - both issues that have tested Washington's relationship with Beijing.

Kerry Brown, executive director of the University of Sydney's China Studies Center, says that Xi knows one of his biggest tasks as president will be to look after China's complicated relationship with America.

"And thankfully there's not at the moment a big issue between them, like arms sales to Taiwan or issues about Tibet or some big, big kind of problem." said Brown.

Leaders of both countries will get a chance to discuss matters of mutual interest next week, when U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew heads to China for talks. Secretary of State John Kerry will also visit Beijing in the coming weeks.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Wangchuk from: NYC
March 15, 2013 10:39 AM
This & the appointment of Xi as China's president are hardly a suprise. This was pre-decided years ago when the Party decided to promote Xi as the next General Secretary of the Party. In China, the Party is the decision-making body, the govt merely implements the policy. The NPC is nothing but a rubber stamp that approves everything the Party has already decided. In its 60+ years history, the NPC has never rejected a policy of the Party or Central Govt.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid