Li Qiang appointed as Chinese Premier

BEIJING: Li Qiang, one of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s most trusted allies, was confirmed as prime minister on Saturday as Xi asserts his influence over the country’s top leadership.

Li, the former Shanghai Party leader who oversaw the city’s grueling two-month lockdown last spring, was named to succeed outgoing Premier Li Keqiang at a session of the country’s stamp parliament.

The 63-year-old received nearly all the votes of the more than 2,900 delegates at the National People’s Congress a day after Xi was unanimously elected by lawmakers to a norm-breaking third term as president.

Xi’s motion to nominate Li Qiang as premier was read in the plenary hall on Saturday morning.

Li’s rise previously seemed in doubt after dealing with the lockdown in Shanghai, which has seen residents struggle to access food and medical supplies.

But Li’s record, as well as widespread protests last winter against Xi’s zero-Covid policy, have been brushed aside as Xi cemented his grip on Chinese politics. -AFP Li Qiang appointed as Chinese Premier

Russell Falcon

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