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

    Russia Sees Brexit Impact Widespread but Temporary

    Officials, citizens react to Britain’s vote to exit European Union with mix of pleasure, understanding and concern

    Obama Encourages Entrepreneurs to Seek Global Interconnection

    President tells entrepreneurs at global summit at Stanford University to find mentors, push ahead with new ideas on day after Britain voters decide to exit EU

    Video Some US Gun Owners Support Gun Control

    Defying the stereotype, Dave Makings says he'd give up his assault rifle for a comprehensive program to reduce gun violence

    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.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora