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

    Syrian Torture Victim Recounts Horrors

    'You make them think you have surrendered' says Jalal Nofal, a doctor who was jailed and survived repeated interrogations in Syria

    Mandela’s Millions Paid to Heirs, But Who Gets His Country Home?

    Saga around $3 million estate of country's first democratic president is far from over as Winnie Mandela’s fight for home overshadows payouts

    Guess Which Beach is 'Best in the US'?

    Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay tops an annual "top 10" list compiled by a coastal scientist, also known as Doctor Beach

    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.
    Chinese Americans for Trump Going Against National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese Americans for Trump Going Against National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora